MANILA, Philippines – Soon, national athletes and coaches serving in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and working in the frontlines amid the COVID-19 pandemic will get to start training in preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian Games set November 21 to December 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is now awaiting the response of the Armed Forces of the Philippines after the former sent a letter last Monday asking the latter to renew their Detailed Service (DS) that would allow the military men and women who are national team members to start preparations.
In a letter signed by PSC chairman William Ramirez to AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana through Col. Rocky Binag, the government sports-funding agency is eyeing the renewal of 100 national athletes and coaches until the end of the year.
It included Tokyo-bound boxer Eumir Marcial, who is currently in the United States even though his DS is with the Philippine Sports Commission, which loaned him to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
Also in the list are Southeast Asian Games athletics gold medalists Aries Toledo (decathlon), Clinton Bautista (110m hurdles) and Anfernee Lopena (mixed 4x100m relay).
With a DS order, athletes and coaches will be pulled out from the front lines where they are currently stationed and be allowed to train under their respective national sports associations (NSAs).
Without it, one will have to stay in the barracks.
The AFP is strict in giving DS renewals due to the pandemic.
In fact, only 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who has trained in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a year now, was given a DS order being a strong gold medal bet in Tokyo.
Aside from boxing, track and field and weightlifting, the PSC is also requesting national team members from badminton, baseball, basketball, cycling, judo, kurash, muay, lawn bowls, rowing, sailing, sambo, sepak takraw, softball, aquatics, wrestling and the Philippine para team to be given a DS order.
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