Added funding, scientific training keys to sustaining 2020 Tokyo Olympic gains

PSC Chairman William I. Ramirez (left) and POC President Abraham N. Tolentinio said efforts have to be made to build on the gains in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

NOW that the country has achieved the success it was long searching for in the Olympics, the challenge now for all stakeholders is how to sustain it.

This was among the topics touched on by officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) during an online forum on Tuesday, saying that the work continues.

“We have to be serious if we would like to sustain the momentum of the Tokyo Olympics,” said PSC Chairman William I. Ramirez at the Philippines Sportswriters Association Forum.

The Philippines is fresh from its best performance yet in the Olympics in nearly a century of participation, including winning a first-ever gold medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn F. Diaz.

Two silver medals were also won by boxers Nesthy A. Petecio and Carlo Paalam and so was a bronze by Eumir Felix D. Marcial also of boxing.

The performance was the first multi-medal showing for the Philippines since the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles where three bronze medals were won.

The 1-2-1 medal haul for the country was also good for 50th place overall at the Tokyo Games.

Mr. Ramirez said while there is much to celebrate about for the successful campaign of the Philippine contingent in the recent Olympics, there is still the need to continue fine-tuning the preparation and training of the athletes for sustained success to be achieved, which would require added resources and effort.

He mentioned added budget and more scientific training for the athletes as among the key aspects that need to be looked at.

“I think the budget for sports should be increased,” said POC President and Cavite Congressman Abraham N. Tolentino.

He said the need for a bigger budget is not only geared for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024, but also for the training and preparation of athletes seeing action in the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games next year.

For the Tokyo Games, the PSC, as per data it provided, released some P2 billion since 2017 for the national team, which also covered the foreign exposure of the Olympians and those who vied for Olympic spots.

In addition, more scientific training is also needed.

“It is really extremely important that we will provide a cutting-edge sports sciences,” said Mr. Ramirez, referring to athletes undergoing performance science, physiological test, metabolic efficiency, and other programs which dominant countries in the Olympics like China, the United States, Russia, and those from Europe, regularly undergo.

While he admitted that it is going to be a challenge here, still efforts need to be made for it to happen because if not goals for the Paris Olympics and the next will be hard to achieve.

Mr. Tolentino agreed with his counterpart in the PSC just as he added for the need to shore up further collaboration with the private sector and other National Olympic Committees in achieving the goals they are setting.

The two officials vowed that their agencies will soon meet to discuss the paths that they will be taking. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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