Team Philippines faces acid test in Hanoi SEAG
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino

Team Philippines faces acid test in Hanoi SEAG

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Vietnam is hosting the 2021 Southeast Asian Games with a significantly reduced calendar, minus a number of sports events where the Philippines struck hard on the way to winning the overall championship at home in 2019.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino yesterday received a letter from host Hanoi disclosing the number of disciplines to be played including centerpiece athletics and aquatics’ swimming and diving as compulsory events.

Archery, badminton, 3x3 and 5x5 basketball, billiards and snooker, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesport, fencing, football and futsal, golf, gymnastics, aerobic, handball, judo, karate, muay, pencak silat, petanque, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, indoor and beach volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu are also penciled for the Hanoi Games.

The other events are fin swimming, bodybuilding, kurash, kickboxing and vovinam.

Not in the initial list are arnis, skateboarding, obstacle course, jiujitsu, e-sports, sailing, soft tennis, triathlon, sambo, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, modern pentathlon, baseball, duathlon, rugby, softball and squash where Phl bets scooped a total of 58 golds in 2019.

The Philippines ran away with the overall championship with a historic 149 gold-medal haul, but the Phl bets now look doomed to lose the crown with the calendar reduction.

Tolentino, however, refused to make a forecast this early saying he still awaiting the number of events or medals at stake.

“It’s difficult to make projections until we see the events of every sports,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino, who also heads PhilCycling, said he would lobby for events where the country has a chance to rake in the medals.

“We will lobby for those events that we’re strong at like arnis, triathlon,” he said.

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