Sports officials seek green light for SEA Games preparation

Published January 19, 2021, 1:34 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Sports officials are working to get clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the resumption of training of other athletes competing in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games set late November.

Philippine Sports Commission’s National Training Director Marc Velasco said this is the first crucial step since only athletes preparing for Olympic qualifiers and the Tokyo Olympics are allowed to train at the moment.

“I think the process is to get IATF clearance for that. The POC and Commissioner Mon Fernandez, who is also the chef de mission to the SEAG, are working on that IATF signal,” Velasco said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

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“Other than that, technically hindi pa po tayo pwedeng magsimula if you’re training for the SEAG.”

Velasco admitted other athletes are also racing against time for other competitions like the SEAG, but they needed to settle everything first from the IATF before they could proceed.

“Once we get the IATF clearance, then we will work on other NSAs (National Sports Associations) on how they can conduct their own training,” he said.

“If we can sit down with the POC and the chef de mission and have a consensus kung ano yung magandang timetable for the SEAG training, that would be good.”

At the moment, Olympic aspirants and qualifiers have already resumed actual training particularly athletes in boxing, taekwondo and karatedo who are already inside the training facility at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

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Velasco said actual training is expected to start within the week since most athletes are still waiting for the results of their PCR tests.

Athletes have arrived in batches since last Friday.

Bubble-type training are also being eyed for athletics, fencing and archery who are also eyeing berths to the Olympics, while national rowers are doing online and outdoor training under health protocols at the La Mesa Dam.