Already assured of its best showing in the ongoing Tokyo Games, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President and Tagaytay Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is confident the country will also perform well in next year’s Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.
On the strength of Hidiyn Diaz’s gold medal win in weightlifting plus the silver of boxer Nesthy Petecio, this year’s edition could be the best ever since the country won three during the 1932 Los Angeles Games – courtesy of high jumper Simon Toribio, boxer Jose Villanuena and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso.
Two other boxers – Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam – are also cinch to bring home at least a bronze after barging into the semis.
Regardless, the POC chief said this would inspire other athletes and coaches of the Philippine Team to strive and give honor to the country in the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam and in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The biennial meet is actually set this year but because of the COVID-19 situation, organizers opted to reschedule it to March or April next year – the same year of the Asian Games to be played September 10 to 25.
“Matuloy man o hindi ang SEA Games (this year), tuloy ang training ng mga members of the national team natin, ang mga athletes. Then there’s the Asian Games also next year,” said Tolentino in an online press briefing fromJapan Wednesday, August 4.
“Kung lahat ng mga Olympians natin may laro sa Asian Games, hindi magpapatalo ang mga yan. Marami tayong aasahan (athletes to win medals) sa SEA Games at sa Asian Games.”