Tokyo Olympics

PH Tokyo Olympic hopefuls to enter training bubble

GLORY DAYS. The Philippines celebrates a successful hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games before the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

A total of 46 athletes and coaches are expected to settle in the bubble to be set up at the Inspire Sports Academy

The country’s Tokyo Olympic hopefuls will finally be able to train for their upcoming qualifying tournaments as they enter the Calamba bubble starting January 15.

A total of 46 athletes and coaches are expected to settle in the bubble, which was set up at the National University Inspire Sports Academy.

The boxing team, led by women’s boxing world champion Nesthy Petecio, will get a headstart as they enter on January 15, followed by the taekwondo team and karate team on January 16 and 17, respectively.

PSC held its first batch of orientations with the aforementioned teams to brief them about the stringent health and safety protocols inside the bubble.

RT-PCR/swab tests will be administered to the bubble participants before entry, upon entry and during their stay at Inspire.

PSC’s Medical Scientific Athletes Services (MSAS) unit head Randy Molo encouraged everyone to restrict movement 14 days before entry, and restrict interactions 7 days prior to their entry to the bubble facility.

“From today, everyone must reconsider all the places and people they will be interacting with,” warned Molo.

Even inside the bubble, social distancing rules will be practiced.

Medical Scientific Athletes Services COVID-19 reinforcement team head Janis de Vera said athletes and coaches will be billeted in single and double occupancy rooms, with pick-and-go scheme in food distribution.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez is confident that the government sports agency’s bubble rules are much stricter than that of other leagues that were held during the pandemic like the PBA and PFL.

Last December 15, the IATF approved the recommendation for the resumption of training for national athletes qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. – Rappler.com