Philippines open to bigger Asian Games team
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - April 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Sports Commission is not closing the doors on young and promising but less experienced athletes to this year’s Asian Games.

Fencing chief Richard Gomez, the chef-de-mission to the Asian Games, had mentioned the possibility of bringing potential athletes to the quadrennial event in Indonesia in August.

Chairman William Ramirez of the PSC had initial talks with Gomez, who talked about the “future of young and potential athletes.”

Ramirez said he got the impression that the POC is considering a bigger delegation for this Asian Games.

“You also have to prepare the young athletes. And if the POC request is worth it, then we will give it,” said Ramirez, whose agency is willing to spend around P200 million for the Asian Games. 

In the past, the POC uses a higher criteria for the Asian Games, meaning only those with good credentials are taken in, like gold and silver medalists in the SEA Games.

This leads to a smaller delegation.

In the last three Asian Games, the PSC funded 233 athletes to Doha in 2006, then 188 to Guangzhou in 2010 and 159 to Incheon in 2014.

In the SEA Games, the Philippines sends a bigger delegation because it’s a chance for the younger athletes to get the needed exposure in the international arena.

In the last year’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the PSC funded 497 athletes from 466 in 2015 in Singapore, 210 in 2013 in Myanmar and a whopping 512 in 2011 in Indonesia.

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