Tokyo buildup about to begin

Tokyo buildup about to begin
Irish Magno
Olmin Leyba, Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) – December 17, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo-bound boxer Irish Magno welcomed the IATF decision allowing the resumption of training for Olympic hopefuls under a bubble setup.

So far, Magno is one of four Filipino qualifiers to the Tokyo Olympics in July. But unlike the others who are currently training overseas, she’s doing her preparations in the country.

“Matagal na po namin inaantay ang approval ng IATF na makapagsimula na kami ng bubble training (We’ve been waiting for the IATF’s go-signal so we can start our bubble training),” Magno told The STAR.

“Gusto ko na po makapag-focus at mapaghandaan na namin nang husto ang Olympics kasama ng coaches ko. Iba pa rin kasi pag nasa tabi ko sila at may sparring (I’d like to focus fully and prepare hard for the Olympics with my coaches already. It would be a big help having them by my side and also doing sparring),” she added.

Football chief and Tokyo Games chef-de-mission Nonong Araneta said the POC is looking at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna as the best option to host the bubble for those who have either qualified to the Tokyo Games or are still trying.

The other qualifiers training overseas are boxer Eumir Felix Marcial in the United States, pole vaulter EJ Obiena in Italy and gymnast Caloy Yulo in Japan.

The Gymastics Association of the Philippines, meanwhile, has decided to temporarily move their quarters from the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila to the Green Sun Gym in Makati.

“We told the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) we can’t train in Rizal anymore because it’s a red zone (COVID-19 quarantine center) and our gym also needs repair,” said GAP head Cynthia Carrion-Norton.

The PSC under chairman William Ramirez has approved the GAP request to rent the 1,000-square-meter facility at the Green Sun Hotel for use of the gymnasts in the national pool.

Carrion-Norton is optimistic about the chances of her gymnasts doing well in the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi in 2021.

“If you could see our new gymnasts today, they are so good and all are working hard trying to be like Caloy (Yulo),” she said.

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