MANILA, Philippines – With only 18 days left before the start of the 2018 Asian Games, chef de mission Richard Gomez is still facing accreditation issues for the Philippine delegation.
"Our biggest concern is really the accreditation of some athletes and coaches," said Gomez.
"For the past several weeks, we’ve been trying to communicate with them [INASGOC (Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee)] and laging nadodown system nila, hiindi nila natatanggap yung mga communication natin (they're system is always down, they don't receive our communication with them)."
Some athletes and coaches from softball, karatedo, taekwondo and volleyball haven't received their accreditation.
Despite being given a deadline for the submission of names on June 30, there were many changes in the Philippine delegation due to additional participants and the withdrawal of injured athletes.
"More on yung medyo late na nagsubmit ng names na affected. And affected din yun kasi meron tayong athletes na during their training, na-injure sila, so yun kailangan din ipalit," explained Gomez.
(More on those whose names were submitted late were affected. The athletes who got injured during their training were so also affected and we have to cancel their accreditations.)
Philippine athletics and weightlfiting had the most number of additions. Both the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) approved Philippine Athletics Track and Field Asssociation (PATAFA)'s appeal to include Fil-Am Kristina Knott, Janry Ubas, Francis Medina, Clinton Kingsley Bautista and Anfernee Lopena.
Weightlifting also managed to add Jeffrey Garcia, Maria Dessa delos Santos, Ellen Rose Perez and Elreen Ando to the delegation.
Notable potential medalists who will sit out of the Asian Games due to injuries and health conditions are 2017 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist tanker James Deiparine and Bowling World Champion Krizziah Tabora.
Gomez will have to settle the accreditation matters in the Delegation Registration Meeting that will be held on Wednesday, August 8, in Indonesia.
Another concern Gomez cited was the INASGOC's rule for National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to only cover the hotel accommodations and daily expenses of athletes and coaches starting two days before their respective events until the end of their tournaments.
"The problem kasi now is that the organizing committee ng Indonesia, ang gusto nila pumasok ang mga athletes two days before their event only. So even if we want to bring the whole national team to Jakarta, hindi ito pwede because if you come in early, we have to pay $100 per day per athlete," said Gomez.
(The probem now is that the organizing committee of Indonesia wants athletes to come in two days before their event only. So if we want to bring the whole national team to Jakarta, this is not possible because you have to pay $100 per day per athlete if you come in early.)
The POC decided that national sports associations (NSAs) can still request to come in early, but they are accountable to shouldering expenses.
"Ang naging decision namin (the decision we made) is that if they want to come in early, then they have to pay for their own expenses."
The Philippine Bowling Federation, Philippine Sailing Association, Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation and the Philippine Taekwondo Association are among the NSAs that requested to leave earlier for Jakarta than their respective tournaments.
The 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang will open on August 18. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.