Budget for PH Olympic hopefuls pending after Tokyo Games delay
MANILA, Philippines – With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponement, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez promised to resume funding for the country's Olympics hopefuls once the new schedule has been announced.
Asked if PSC will continue to fund the national athletes' Road to Tokyo for a longer stretch, Ramirez said this will also depend on the global coronavirus situation.
"Let's wait until COVID-19 will diminish, then we will resume [funding] their competitions," Ramirez told Rappler.
Aside from the major competitions of the national athletes, the government sports agency also takes care of the salaries of coaching staff of the country's top athletes like 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Tokyo 2020-bound athletes EJ Obiena and Carlos Yulo.
Asked if the funding will continue amid the coronavirus situation, Ramirez said he's positive that PSC will be able to do so, but it's also a matter to be discussed with the board.
Just like the Philippine Olympic Committee, Ramirez supports the decision to postpone the quadrennial meet to 2021 and hopes it will be a more favorable time to stage the biggest global sports showpiece. (READ: Philippine Olympic Committee: Tokyo 2020 postponement 'not an issue')
"The postponment of Tokyo Olympics on July 24 [is] very appropriate. Our greatest priority is the safety and health of our athletes," added Ramirez.
There are currently 62 Filipino athletes bidding to qualify for the Olympiad. These athletes are coming from archery, athletics, swimming, basketball, boxing, cycling, canoe-kayak, fencing, golf, gymnastics, judo, karate, rowing, skateboarding, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling.
Out of the 62, an estimated 18 athletes have above-average chances of booking a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. – Rappler.com