Garcia wants summit on Incheon Asiad debacle
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - October 5, 2014 - 8:11pm

INCHEON, South Korea – As the bulk of the Philippine delegation heads home Sunday night, Philippine Sports Commission chairman (PSC) and chef de mission Richie Garcia underscored the need for a summit with all the national sports association (NSA's) to review the country's performance in the 17th Asian Games here.

The country's 150-man delegation fell short of Garcia's forecast that this year's delegation could surpass the three won in the last Asiad in Guangzhou, China in 2010.

It was more of misses than hits as the gold medal bets fell one after another.

"Medyo it was below expectation. Nakita naman natin na medyo mahirap ang nangyari," Garcia told reporters at the Incheon International Airport here.

"Overall, I was happy. Binuhos naman ng ating mga atleta ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya. We thought we should have won more gold. Hindi naman nagkulang ang PSC sa suporta," Garcia added.

Garcia pointed out some of those heartbreaking misses in boxing, long jump and weightlifting and even Gilas' disappointing 7th place finish.

Only BMX racer Daniel Caluag came through with a gold medal finish on the day Garcia celebrated his birthday.

As a reward, Caluag, according to Garcia, will enjoy the perks of being under the priority athlete program with a Php 40,000 monthly allowance plus the same amount for monthly training expenses until the next Asiad.

The country tallied one gold, three silvers and 11 bronzes, one short of the 16-medal haul (three golds, four silvers, 9 bronzes) in 2010.

Garcia said there is really a need to sit down with all stakeholders and assessed what happened here and chart the future of Phl sports.

"I was already talking to Cong. Peping (Cojuangco) dito and I said let's have a summit, let's review kung ano ba talaga ang gagawin natin," Garcia said.

The PSC chairman cited neighboring Southeast Asian countries Myanmar,

Singapore and Cambodia who sent a leaner delegation and focused on certain sports only.

Myanmar struck two golds, one silver and a bronze all from Sepak Takraw while Singapore finished with 5-6-13 gold-silver-bronze haul while Cambodia had one gold from Taekwondo.

"Nakausap ko ang ilang mga delegations dito at naka-focus lang sila sa ilang sports like Myanmar, Singapore and Cambodia. Ang Singapore parang pitong sports lang yata sinalihan eh," Garcia said.

Garcia thinks that the Phl has greater chance to win more golds if they channel the resources and focus on potential medal sports.

"Example lang ito ha, tulad sa atin, tutukan natin nang tutukan ang boxing and taekwondo. Gastusan talaga natin, hire foreign coaches, send them abroad for training," he added.

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