Malacañang’s instruction is to win more medals in the Paris 2024 Olympics and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will be a good soldier to focus on accomplishing mission.
“The President [Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.] wants more medals in Paris,” POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said during the POC’s last General Assembly for the year at the East Ocean Seafoods Restaurant in Parañaque City Thursday, Dec. 1. “And that’s an order we would more than happily want to accomplish.”
President Marcos, Tolentino said, is very much aware of the successful campaign last year in Tokyo where weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz Naranjo won for the country its first Olympic gold medal. And with boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio delivering silvers and Eumir Felix Marcial clinching bronze, Tokyo went down as the most successful Olympics for the Philippines in almost a century.
“I just told the President that we delivered a lot of Olympic medals during the past administration, and he replied that it’s not enough and he wants more,” Tolentino said. “So I answered ‘Yes Mr. President, we’ll do more in the Paris Olympics.”
To date, Tolentino is looking at a minimum of 12 athletes who could qualify for Paris 2024, but would be expecting more and perhaps surpass the 19 Olympians the country sent to Tokyo.
He didn’t name his potential Paris qualifiers though but express optimism to a “bountiful” Paris campaign with the POC enjoying a more harmonious relationship with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Malacanang’s sports arm that funds the country’s sports machinery.
“That’s the secret, our relationship with the PSC is getting better and better,” Tolentino said.