Filipino Olympians to undergo month-long training in France for Paris 2024

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Filipino Olympians to undergo month-long training in France for Paris 2024
POC and Cignal formalized their partnership for the upcoming Paris Olympics on Thursday.
Philstar.com / Ralph Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines will be holding a month-long training camp in Metz, France ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Bambol Tolentino said.

Tolentino announced this development during the partnership announcement between the POC and Cignal TV for the upcoming Paris games.

“Everyone will be leaving after the June 21 sendoff, then, the following day, on June 22, they will leave for the training camp a month before,” Tolentino told reporters in Filipino.

The training camp, the POC president bared, will be bankrolled by Cignal.
“In Metz, the contract was signed last year. We plotted this two years ago, and we really looked for facilities that would accommodate us. So, fortunately, Metz offered,” he said.

The city is just about one hour and 15 minutes to Paris via train.

“In Metz, they will provide everything. All [pieces of] equipment to be used in Paris, they will procure for our use. All facilities, they will provide,” Tolentino said.

“If [the training areas] would be in different areas, if the Olympic pool is faraway, they will shuttle our swimmers. The same with the golf course or the shooting range, they will shuttle. But the main hub will be in Metz,” the official added.

“All other facilities are within reach, about 15 to 20 minutes by car or by van.”

POC secretary-general Wharton Chan said before they agreed to the venue, they conducted ocular visits to the area and “made sure that the environment in Metz would fill in all the sports that we think are possible to be played by the Filipino athletes.”

“That’s why all the venues, especially gymnastics, athletics, swimming, boxing, weightlifting, meron po silang definite na tools, equipment, venue, Olympic-regulated, for us to use on that specific training venue,” he said.

“Aside from that, they offered us sparring partners for those competitions who need necessary sparring partners and they will also give us the old sports lab, everything we need so it is there. The venue is really good.”

Currently, there are nine Filipino athletes who have qualified for the Paris Olympics.

They are pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Nesthy Petecio, Aira Villegas and Eumir Marcial, weightlifters John Ceniza, Vanessa Sarno and Elreen Ando, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.

Chan said that one of the Metz training camp’s advantages is the cooperation among the Filipino athletes.

“Definitely, the cooperation among their peers is very important, it plays a vital role for these athletes and one of our agreements with Metz, is to isolate the Filipino among Filipinos,” he said.

“So definitely, the bonding or help [among the athletes] when it comes to mental health, emotional health, and their strong mindset will play a huge role in the training camp,” he added.

The Paris Olympics will run from July 26th to August 11th of this year. 

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