THE ever reliable combat sports of boxing and taekwondo are the discipline likely to deliver again for the country in the coming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Tom Carrasco cited the two sports based on past records and consistency in terms of winning not only within the region but outside of Asia as well.
Through Rey Saludar, boxing produced one of three gold medals the Philippine contingent won during the 2010 edition of the Asiad in Guangzhou, China. Pool player Dennis Orcollo and bowler Biboy Rivera accounted for the other two golds.
“Potential is boxing and taekwondo,” said Carrasco, a member of the joint POC-Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Asiad Task Force, when asked about which sports he thought are potential winners in the quadrennial meet set from September 19 to October 4.
“Wushu din, although nandiyan din kasi ang China,” he added. “Cycling I think sa BMX, basketball, and bowling siguro, kaya lang ngayon pa lang yata sila nagpapalakas ng team.”
The Filipinos also bagged four silver and nine bronze medals in the Guangzhou Games, figures which Carrasco said he hopes will all be surpassed this time.
Also the president of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), Carrasco however, refused to make an early forecast on the possible gold medals the country will win.
“Hindi muna tayo maglalabas (prediction). Tingnan muna natin yung kumpletong profile ng team, but hopefully, we’ll be able to surpass it (Guangzhou Asiad),” said Carrasco in the session presented by Shakey’s, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Carrasco, the country’s chef de mission when it won three golds in the Busan Asiad 12 years ago, said the PSC-POC Task Force is now in the process of pruning down the composition of the Philippine delegation by holding meetings with the various National Sports Associations (NSAs).
And the POC official vows that only the most deserving athlete will go to Incheon.
“We’re now asking the NSAs to submit their list of athletes to us, titingnan namin kung sino ang mga ito and yung performance nila,” he said.
“Ang POC-PSC Task Force ay seryoso sa pag-evaluate at pagplili ng atleta na ipapadala sa Asian Games. We challenge the heads of the NSAs na ipakita sa amin 'yung tamang proseso at programa para sa kanilang mga atleta,” said Paul Ycasas, also a member of the PSC-POC Task Force.
Deadline for submission by number is on April, while entry by name is on August 15.