By Nick Giongco
Heads of sixteen national sports associations (NSAs) met the deadline imposed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Olympics chief of mission Nonong Araneta for the submission of their respective programs for their top athletes.
Liza Ner of the PSC told the Manila Bulletin that the PSC has already forwarded the documents to the Pagcor which is earmarking a hefty amount for the athletes’ overseas training and participation in Olympic qualifying events.
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez had warned the NSA leaders that those who will fail to make the deadline would have to find funding elsewhere.
But the NSAs heard Ramirez’s loud and clear and obliged.
The sixteen NSAs are athletics, aquatics, basketball (3×3), boxing, cycling, golf, judo, karate, kayak, rowing, skateboarding, taekwondo, table-tennis, tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.
So far, two have qualified for Tokyo 2020 scheduled July 24-Aug. 9: World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo and Italy-based pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Malacanang is throwing its all-out support behind the Philippines’ bid to send more qualifiers to Tokyo.
The last time in Rio2016, the Philippines could only send 13 and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is likewise in the thick of preparations to reinforce the government’s assistance by tapping private sector support.
POC president Bambol Tolentino said one of the immediate target is to field a sizeable delegation to Tokyo to enhance the chances of medaling.