MANILA, Philippines — No thanks to the training delays caused by the spike of COVID-19 cases, Filipino athletes seeing action in the 31st Hanoi Southeast Asian Games in November will only have less than five months to prepare.
Philippine SEA Games chef-de-mission Ramon Fernandez and Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino have agreed to move the start of training of Hanoi-bound athletes to July 1.
Originally, the training was supposed to start yesterday but it was shelved after COVID-19 cases rose to alarming rate.
In fact, at least two national athletes including a 2019 SEA Games silver medalist, tested positive of the global health malady.
This will also give national sports associations (NSAs) time to look for a godfather who will host a national team and defray the huge cost of subsidizing a training camp.
“We are very open to godfathers out there who are willing to help our athletes,” said the Philippine Sports Commission board member and basketball legend.
Tolentino, for his part, said he would host the national cyclists being the PhilCycling president in Tagaytay where he is its Congressman while opening his arms to other sports including kickboxing and chess.
“Aside from cycling, we might also help kickboxing and maybe Chess. Skateboard sana kaso wala sila sa SEA Games,” he said.
The “no vaccine, no training” policy was discussed but nothing came out of it since there is no certainty when the vaccines will arrive.
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