Sunday , June 24, 2018

Eyes on 2020 Tokyo Olympics

MANILA - As the dust settles from the recent Olympic competition, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is not leaving anything to chance as it gears up to make its mark in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This time around, the PSC puts its best foot forward for such task as it inaugurates the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) on Monday, January 16, at the Philsports Complex (formerly Ultra) Multi-Purpose Arena in Pasig City.

PSC Chairman William Ramirez said PSI has already laid out plans as its initial preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ramirez added that the institute intended to hire more competent people to better assist national athletes when they compete abroad that will be a new norm.

"We will be hiring more people. Definitely every time our national athletes compete internationally, we will send a full team of sports medicine personnel to support team," Ramirez said.

He added that they plan to look for a training venue in the Japanese capital to better prepare the athletes for 2020.

"This way our Olympians will acclimatize ideally during the time of Olympics, between August and September, they will travel in Tokyo, to be able to get used to the weather, the people, mode of transportation and traffic, the life style there, so by 2020, our athletes will be there earlier, I think this will be the earliest, we are talking here of months, or minimum of six weeks," said Ramirez.

"They (Olympians) will be in Tokyo before the Olympics starts, we will not be bringing athletes in just a matter of hours before they compete sa Olympics, this time we will plan it out carefully we will give them the support that they need. That is just the initial salvo of PSI in 2020 Olympics," he added.

Moreover, the Commission has earmarked a large sum to purchase equipment that will help in the athletes' training. This new equipment will be part of PSI's services to the athletes.

"PSI will have its mark in the field of sports science support to our elite athletes. PSC has earmarked big amount to purchase equipments that will help athletes in their training, better equipment in our Strength and Conditioning Gym. We will have more diagnostic equipment for them to help our injured athletes. And even help the training ng mga athletes natin (of our athletes)."

PSI national training director Marc Edward Velasco said PSI also plans to bring in experts from abroad to assist in sports development program.

"This time around we are not limiting ourselves to PSC premises, we are going out: (we have) Russia, China, the Koreans are actually reaching out to us asking us how they can help us," he said.

PSC plans to beef up its potential Olympians in the sports of fencing, shooting, rowing, gymnastics and even figure skating.

PSI is also partnering with the University of the Philippines College of Human Kinetics and United States Sports Academy to develop educational programs suitable for those who want to venture in the field of sports as a full time profession.

The institute also envisions a bigger pool of competent athletes that it will harvest from across the nation. It will propagate proper coaching method to make it safer for kids to be involved in sports.

"From there like I said, we will have better yield of athletes, better quality, mas malaki ngayon yung (budget) [the budget is bigger now], pag pumili tayo ng (if we choose) athletes we have more pool of them. When we have more pool ibig sabihin mas malaki ang bala natin (it means we have a greater chance)," Velasco added. (PR)