POC identifies boxing, taekwondo, six other sports as possible Asiad gold mines
Ricky Vargas presides over his first general assembly as POC president. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is looking at a total of eight sports, including the ever-dependable boxing and taekwondo, as possible sources of gold medals in the coming Asian Games in Indonesia.

Also identified by the Olympic body are the sports of bowling, dragon boat, judo, jiu jitsu, bridge, and kurash (a form of judo) as it hopes to do better than the lone gold medal the Filipino delegation won during the last staging of the quadrennial meet in Incheon, South Korea.

The POC made the disclosure during the general assembly held on Monday at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall in Pasig, the first under new president Ricky Vargas.

“We just need to do better than the one gold that we got (in the Asian Games). So that’s what we’re trying to do now,” said Vargas after the meeting.

Vargas, president of the Associating of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), is not about to make a projection on the possible gold medals the country will win in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang during the August 18 to Sept 2 meet.

He said the immediate objective is to improve the country's performance during the 2014 Asiad where cyclist Daniel Caluag provided the single gold won by the Philippine contingent.

"I don't like to talk about golds, but I'd like to talk about improving our standings kasi when you start doing that, it gives you a little bit of motivation," Vargas stressed.

As it is, the country finished at no. 22 in the Incheon Asiad, where it also bagged a total of three silver and 11 bronze medals.

Vargas hopes to surpass that finish notches higher in the first Asiad under his watch.

"We’re looking at least a 15th place (finish) this year in Jakarta and Palembang. Our goal is to improve from 22nd place," he said.

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Apart from the eight sports that have potential to win gold or medals of any color, the POC also recognized 21 other sports which it categorized as next level, or has the promise of ending up winning a medal.

The sports which falls under this are sailing, fencing, sepak takraw, squash, swimming, cycling, athletics, archery, softball, golf, sports climbing, jetski, soft tennis, wrestling, triathlon, skateboarding, wushu, gymnastics, weighlifting, and karate.

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