PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez has a bright outlook for Philippine sports in the coming years - one that will see the country winning the overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and boldly, a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Ramirez stressed the government agency is gearing towards the next three years, with the ultimate goal of winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Summer Games.
The PSC chairman also sees the country winning the overall title of the SEA Games two years from now in which the country will be hosting the multisports enclave.
“This is my vision. 2018 [Asian Games], we will get medals. I cannot give you colors,” Ramirez said.
“But in the SEA Games, we will be champion. Olympics, we might get one gold,” added Ramirez, mentioning the likes of Kiyomi Watanabe and Mariya Takahashi of judo, and Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting as gold medal prospects.
Watanabe and Takahashi captured gold medals in the 2017 SEA Games, while Diaz bagged a silver and a bronze in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championship in Anaheim, California. The Filipino weightlifter also bagged silver in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, the country's first Olympic medal since 1996.
“Can be in judo, can be in weightlifting,” said Ramirez, in relation to potential gold medal winners in the 2020 Olympics.
For next year’s Asiad in Jakarta, the Philippines looks to improve on the one-gold performance in the 2014 edition. BMX rider Daniel Caluag won the lone gold for the Philippines.
Ramirez said one of the plans is to tap athletes who will undergo special training with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics.
“We have identified 10 sports and 25 athletes for the Tokyo Olympics,” said Ramirez.
“In spite of our problems, we can still perform in the Asian Games, SEA Games, and the Olympics. There are many great Filipinos,” said the PSC chief.