POC checks training facilities in Paris for Olympic preparations

Some Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) officials led by President Bambol Tolentino are in Paris, France over the weekend to inspect possible training venues for Filipino athletes that would qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (sixth from left) and deputy secretary general Bones Floro (right) are in a discussion with French sports facility officials.

Tolentino and company conducted an ocular on several training facilities for boxing and weightlifting – two sports that delivered medals in the 2020 Tokyo Games – as well as gymnastics, which is another potential medal source in the Games.

“The goal is to have our qualified athletes to be in Paris at least one month before the Olympics,” said Tolentino, who was joined in the ocular by POC deputy secretary general Bones Floro, legal chief Atty. Wharton Chan and manager Carla Maramara.

“It’s not only us who’s making a reservation for a training facility, but several other countries as well,” Tolentino said. “It’s first come, first served so we’re making sure we get the best one for our athletes.”

Tolentino said they wanted a 3-in-1 facility – a venue that is at least 10 minutes from the athletes’ accommodation that is also equipped with a kitchen.

He also clarified that while weightlifting, boxing and gymnastics are being prioritized for their medal potential, athletes in other sports who will earn Olympic berths will also be included in the program.

There were 19 athletes who qualified and competed in the Tokyo Games held last year. Aside from the three mentioned sports, athletes that earned berths came from athletics, golf, judo, rowing, shooting, skateboarding, swimming and taekwondo.

POC hopes to have as many Olympic qualifiers as the Philippine team can to eclipse the historic finish in Tokyo where weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first Olympic gold, while boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial delivered two silvers and one bronze.