POC chief: Olympic hopefuls, AIMAG athletes priority for bubble training

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino urged national sports associations (NSAs) to prioritize athletes participating in Olympic qualifiers and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) should they plan to hold a training bubble.

Speaking in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum Tuesday, Tolentino said NSAs should move fast in strategizing their athletes’ training programs for a busy year in sports.

“We’ll be asking other NSAs kung magba-bubble (training) sila, kung sino ang unang magba-bubble. Pagbigyan muna yung mga unang magpa-participate,” Tolentino said.

Olympic qualifiers are lined up around the first two quarters of the year in time for the Tokyo Games on July 23 to Aug. 8. AIMAG, meanwhile, is set May 21 to 30 in Thailand.

The country’s Olympic hopefuls in boxing, taekwondo and karatedo are expected to enter a training bubble this month at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna in time for their respective Olympic qualifiers.

Tolentino will also ask NSAs about their selection process for the bubble training, especially if these associations would need to hold national-level competitions first.

“We have to move fast, especially sa mga participants in AIMAG, Asian Youth Games, Southeast Asian Games. Kasi dun makikita kung sino muna ang unang magba-bubble (training),” Tolentino said.

The Asian Youth Games is scheduled Nov. 20 to 28 in Guangdong, China while the 31st SEA Games will be on Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 in Vietnam.