Marc Velasco
After SEA Games, PSC targets Olympics
(The Philippine Star) - December 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Southeast Asian Games now, Olympics next.

Buoyed by the success of the country’s campaign in the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) hopes the same level of performance by the Filipino athletes would carry over to next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Marc Velasco, national training director of the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI), stressed the PSC has its sights now trained at the Olympics, with the bid for the SEA Games overall championship over and done with.

And the country winning a record number of medals in the biennial meet, including 149 golds, to win the overall championship after 14 years, raises the optimism of qualifying more Filipinos to the 2020 Summer Games.

“We firmly believed that we will be able to carry over yung efforts and yung energy ng ating mga athletes. We are still very high sa ating success, kaya we believe we might have a big contingent in Tokyo,” said Velasco, who represented Team Philippines chef-de-mission and PSC chairman William Ramirez in yesterday’s session of the PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila.

“An Olympic medal is better than a SEA Games medal. So andun muna yung energy, yung focus ng PSC, to provide for the athletes to be able to qualify for the Olympics.”

World gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena are the two Filipino athletes who have punched tickets to the Tokyo Games, with several more knocking on the Olympic door, including 2016 Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, World Boxing Championships gold medalist Nesthy Petecio and silver medalist Eumir Marcial, and a few more in athletics, swimming, fencing, golf, and taekwondo.

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