PSC to tap more Fil-fors for '14 Asiad, Youth Games
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is planning and hoping to discover more Fil-foreign athletes to represent the country in next year’s Asian Games and the Youth Olympic Games.
Philippines Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia bared the plan after he was named chef-de-mission to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea on Sept. 19-Oct. 4.
Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla, who led the Philippine delegation to the recent Asian Youth Games, said the plan will also be carried out for the YOG in Nanjing on Aug. 16-28.
“Yes if they are available. We should tap them if they have the talent,” said the five-time shooting champion in the SEA Games.
The Philippines won two gold medals and three silver medals in the recent AYG, and Padilla said it proves that the Pinoy youth can excel in high-level competitions.
In yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate, Padilla said he’s on the same page with the PSC chairman although he stressed that the homegrown talents should not be left out.
“We are not turning our backs on the locals. We must remember that those who won medals in the AYG are homegrown,” he said.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco will spearhead the preparations for the YOG but has given Padilla instructions to help him out.
“The specific instruction is to maximize our participation in the YOG. And for us to accomplish that we have to participate in all the qualifying events,” Padilla said.
“We will look for athletes whose performance is in the Asian level. We will look for Fil-foreigners that can reinforce our delegation to go with our priority athletes,” Garcia said.
There are different qualifying events for the different national sports associations. Padilla will ask the NSAs to provide them with the list of all qualifying events.
Winning the gold in the recent AYG in Nanjing were golfer Mia Legaspi and taekwondo jin Pauline Louise Lopez. The silver medals came from Princess Superal (golf), Francis Aaron Agojo (taekwondo) and Jurence Mendoza (tennis).
To some sports, a gold medal in the AYG is a ticket to the YOG. To others, they still need to go through qualifying.
Padilla, a former world junior champion, came to the forum along with tennis coach Martin Misa, who steered Mendoza to the finals of boys’ tennis in Nanjing.
Misa said Fil-foreign tennis players like Cecil Mamiit, Erik Tainoi and Treat Huey have represented the Philippines well in international competitions over recent years.
But these players are too old to compete in the YOG. Instead, the tennis coach is looking at AJ Lim to play alongside Mendoza in Nanjing.
“They can both play the singles and team up in the doubles,” said Misa.
“I will schedule a meeting with the NSAs. We have to identify as soon as possible athletes who can qualify. But we want qualifiers that really have a chance of winning,” said Padilla.
Padilla said tapping Fil-foreigners in any of the 28 Olympic sports will boost the chances of the Philippines for a medal in the YOG set Aug. 16-28.