POC chief: Financial backing key to Philippines' Olympic gold quest in Tokyo
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino
POC chief: Financial backing key to Philippines' Olympic gold quest in Tokyo
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - October 15, 2020 - 3:41pm

MANILA, Philippines – Given enough financial support, the Philippines could snare a historic first gold Olympic gold medal in Tokyo next year.

And there is big chance it could win more.

“Tokyo could be that host city where the country could win not one, not two but probably more Olympic gold medals in 2021,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino.

“And along this line, the athletes need all the support in their bid to accomplish what has never been achieved before,” he added.

The Tagaytay Congressman, however, stressed the importance of monetary backing after he sought an addition al P510 million war chest from government for elite sports for next year where Filipino athletes are bracing not just for Tokyo but also for the qualifying tournaments as well as the Southeast Asian Games and Para Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This outside the P207 million already allotted by the Department of Budget and Management to the PSC for 2021 that is intended its expenses for operations, salaries and wages of personnel.

“The PSC needs the full support of Congress — the House and Senate — because 2021 is the year when the Olympic gold medal beckons,” said PhilCycling chief. “I am confident that elusive gold medal will be achieved in Tokyo.”

The country is pinning its hopes on 2019 world gymnastics champion Caloy Yulo and 2019 World Championship boxing silver medalist Eumir Marcial and Tokyo-bound pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and pug Irish Magno.

Other athletes expected to qualify and with legitimate gold chance are 2016 Rio weightlifting silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz, 2019 world women’s champion Nesthy Petecio and fast-rising golfer Yuka Saso.

PSC chairman William Ramirez said of the proposed P510 million extra funding, P150 million will go exclusively for the Tokyo campaign alone while P100 million will be channeled to the SEAG participation and preparation.

In Hanoi, the Filipinos are looking to defend their overall title they won in December last year as hosts.

The rest will be allotted to Tokyo Paralympics, Asian Beach Games, Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, Asian Youth Games, Asian Youth Para Games, SEA Para Games, Tokyo Paralympics and ASEAN Youth Games.

“The SEAG is on top of the priorities as we defend the overall title, which we achieved when we hosted the event in 2021,” said Tolentino.

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