PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia hopes the Philippine team will be able to hit a new high in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
In his capacity as chef de mission of the PH delegation, Garcia said a maximum of 248 athletes will compete in the Asiad, the number of which will be submitted by the local Task Force to the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc) in time for the ‘entry-by-number’ deadline on June 19.
The number, however, will still be reduced for its final deadline set sometime in August. So far, 159 athletes had already passed the stringent criteria of the Task Force.
Three months into the Asiad, Garcia declined to make any medal projection for the country, but wishes the Filipino athletes will be able to equal if not surpass the four-gold medal haul of the Philippines eight years ago in Doha, Qatar.
Boxers Joan Tipon and Violito Payla, wushu fighter Rene Catalan, and billiards player Antonio Gabica provided the gold medals for the country during the 2006 Asiad, marking the best output the country had in the meet since also winning as many golds in the 1986 edition in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
“Hindi ko puwedeng sabihin na 10 golds or four golds or two golds. I just hope that we will surpass our best record in Qatar when we won four gold medals,” said Garcia on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“What we expect is for all our athletes to give their best. As for the medals, it will just come. Sana naman may makakita tayo na mas maraming ginto dito sa Asian Games,” Garcia said.
Softball has the most number of athletes on the tentative list with 15, followed by basketball, bowling, and taekwondo with 12.
The 25 sports and the maximum number of athletes that will be submitted by the local Task Force are as follows:
Aquatics – 80; Archery – 8; Athletics – 9; Softball – 15; Basketball – 12; Bowling – 12; Boxing – 9; Canoe kayak – 1; Cycling – 5; Equestrian – 3; Fencing – 2; Golf – 7; Gymnastics – 1; Judo – 4; Karatedo – 6; Rowing – 5; Rugby – 12; Sailing – 4; Shooting – 8; Taekwondo – 12; Lawn tennis/Soft tennis – 9; Triathlon – 8; Weightlifting – 2; Wrestling – 7; Wushu – 6