AT least 133 athletes representing 26 sports have already made the national pool of the Philippine contingent for the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
And the numbers are expected to increase pending the submission of the final delegation on August 15.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia admitted the Task Force Asian Games is set to submit on Wednesday a maximum number of 360 members of the Philippine delegation before Asiad organizers, saying this already includes late additions among athletes and other `extra officials.’
Garcia, who is also the country’s chef de mission to the Asiad, said previously only gold medal winners in the 2013 Myanmar Southeast Asian Games were qualified for inclusion in the Philippine contingent, but added potential athletes especially those who finished in the top five of an Asian event can also be considered.
“If we are going to be strict with the criteria, we will be sending 60 to 70 athletes. But the next SEA Games is going to be held eight months after the Asian Games. So we piggy back in the Asian Games for the next SEA Games and make the event as part of their preparation,” said Garcia on Tuesday.
But on a conservative note, the PSC chair said the Filipino contingent won’t surpass the 200 mark as the Philippine team tries to better the three gold, four silver, and nine bronze medals the country won during the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad.
Cyclists Daniel Caluag (BMX) and Mark Galedo (road race) are among the athletes already assured of slots in the PH team along with basketball, although slots are expected to be secured in boxing, taekwondo, and wushu.
Other potential sports where the country has a chance of winning medals include archery, bowling, rugby, softball at weightlifting habang ang ibang sports na lalaruan ng bansa ay athletics, swimming, wrestling, gymnastics, soft tennis, rowing, fencing, judo, canoe kayak, shooting, tennis, triathlon, equestrian, karatedo, sailing, and golf.