MANILA, Philippines – Team Philippines looks to boost its campaign in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games as it sends more athletes in this year’s edition in Cambodia.
The country will send a 1,162-strong delegation – 905 athletes and 257 officials – in the regional meet slated from May 5 to 17.
It’s a significant increase from the 656 athletes who competed in 38 sports in last year’s 31st edition in Vietnam where the Philippines finished fourth with 227 medals – 52 gold, 70 silver, and 105 bronze – out of the possible 1,759.
“I’m confident these are all fighting athletes. They will be competing in all the events despite the odds,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino during the general assembly on Wednesday, March 15, at the East Ocean Garden Restaurant in Pasay City.
Cambodia has lined up 608 events in 38 sports in its first hosting of the Games. But it has also set unique rules, particularly in combat sports where except for the host, the other countries couldn’t field full teams in certain events.
Filipino athletes will compete in all sports in Cambodia.
The delegation approximates the 2019 Philippine hosting where 1,119 Filipino athletes competed in 56 sports.
A formal sendoff ceremony for Team Philippines has also been slated on April 15 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Meanwhile, the POC general assembly also approved the suspension of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) as a regular member. There was no objection.
PSI’s suspension was prompted by the World Aquatics’ ban on the national federation, which the POC executive board in turn offered to the general assembly for a decision.
“The POC just followed the order of World Aquatics,” Tolentino said. “If the World Aquatics lifts the suspension, then we will lift the POC suspension.”
The suspension stemmed from the PSI’s persistence against the World Aquatics’ instructions and resolutions.
“We never wanted the suspension on the PSI but it’s the national sports association which created its own problem,” Tolentino added.
The World Aquatics has also ordered for an election of a new set of board members of the PSI and approved the composition of a POC electoral committee that will conduct and supervise the election process. – Rappler.com
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