MANILA – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) agreed to endorse for approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the resumption of training of four Tokyo Olympic-bound athletes and several hopefuls.
During the PSC Board meeting with POC president Bambol Tolentino and secretary general Ed Gastanes on Tuesday, the sports officials discussed plans to resume the training of Tokyo-bound pole vaulter Ernest Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial (men’s middleweight) and Irish Magno (women’s flyweight), as well as those who will compete in the Olympic qualifiers.
“We initiated the meeting with POC with the good of our national athletes in mind. Lagi yan priority, as Chairman Butch Ramirez always says,” PSC officer in charge, Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, said.
Fernandez said the PSC board wants to leave no stone unturned to ensure the Olympic hopefuls keep their momentum.
“Covid-19 notwithstanding, we must never lose sight of our goal to give our best for our first Olympic gold,” he said.
Fernandez, however, said the final decision would remain with the IATF.
“We can only recommend but they have the final say,” he added.
The PSC board has already identified six facilities at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila City and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City, which may be available for training.
These are the Fencing Hall, Multi-Purpose Center, Strength and Conditioning Building, Dormitory Training Hall in Philsports, and the Taekwondo and Boxing gyms at the RMSC.
Marc Velasco, PSC’s national training director, informed that the agency would conduct a “massive disinfection of facilities on both complexes to ensure the safety of our athletes should they restart training.”
Some facilities of RMSC and Philsports are being used as quarantine centers for suspected and mild-positive Covid-19 cases.
Fernandez added that they are open to the private sector and local government units with low to no-cases of Covid-19 infection to “adopting” other sports training for their respective Olympic qualifying competitions.
The PSC will next meet with Tokyo Olympics Chef de Mission Nonong Araneta to discuss the POC’s projection on our Olympic bid.
“The POC will know who has and where we have a high percentage of qualifying so we will consult them and move from there,” explained Fernandez. (PR)