More athletes eyeing SEAG berths
MANILA, Philippines - More than a hundred Filipino athletes are still trying to catch the last bus to the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar in December.
Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Tom Carrasco said 114 athletes can make it to the team “pending validation and qualification.”
These athletes, according to the president of the local triathlon association, may join the 152 athletes from 26 sports that have been given the green light by the POC.
But even if they all make it, the Philippines, which finished sixth overall in 2011 in Indonesia, is still bound to send its smallest delegation to the SEA Games in recent years.
Carrasco is part of a task force overseeing the composition of the Philippine team to Myanmar. Jeff Tamayo of soft tennis is the chef-de-mission.
He said the aspiring athletes have a couple more of international tournaments which they can use as basis for their inclusion.
Carrasco said Filipino shooters will vie in the SEASA (Southeast Asian Shooting Association) Championships. Those who deliver the goods will earn tickets to Myanmar.
Also hoping to make it to Naypyidaw, the new capital of Myanmar, for the Games set Dec. 11 to 22, include athletes from muay thai, judo, wushu, women’s basketball and men’s football.
“With football we will look at lineup,” said Carrasco.
“We are trying to be as fair to all. We at the task force are doing our best. We are not siding with anyone. Inclusion is based on criteria and justification,” he added.
Already assured of slots to Myanmar are those from athletics (20), women’s football (20), taekwondo (16), men’s basketball (12), boxing (10), cycling (9), karatedo (8), golf (7), aquatics (5), rowing (5), sailing (4), chess (4), archery (4), billiards (3), equestrian (3), Muay thai (3), sepak takraw (3), badminton (2), table tennis (2), pencak silat (2), shooting (2), canoeing (2), weightlifting (2), wrestling (2), judo (1) and windsurfing (1).
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia said while they are waiting for the final list of athletes, the agency is already attending to the needs of those who are going.
“We have started buying equipment requested by NSAs (national sports associations). And definitely all the athletes are continuing with their training” he said.
The POC is hoping to finalize the list this week so they can submit it to the Myanmar organizers before Sept. 15.