Bright hopes for Pinoy Olympians-A A +A
Thursday, July 26, 2012
A PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) official expects a bright hope for Filipino Olympians seeing action in the world's greatest sporting spectacle, the 2012 London Olympics, that is set to open tomorrow, Saturday (Manila time).
PSC executive director Guillermo Iroy Jr., on the sideline of the just-concluded 18th So Kim Cheng Sports Awards Night where he was guest speaker at Grand Regal Hotel, said boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, BMX cyclist Daniel Caluag, shooter Paul Brian Rosario and archers Rachel Anne Cabral and Mark Javier are brilliant prospects.
Iroy, in an interview, said: "I am very happy and proud that we have an Olympian from the Davao Region. We are confident that Barriga and the rest of the Filipino Olympians will make us all proud."
He urged Dabawenyos and the rest of the Filipinos to support the Olympians through prayers.
The national government, through the PSC, spent P13M for Olympic preparations of 11 athletes including Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera (athletics), Tomohiko Hoshina (judo), Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie King Lacuña (swimming) and Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting).
When asked about Davao City divers' no-show in the quadrennial Games this year, the Dabawenyo Iroy said all he knew about was that the divers should have participated in qualifying tournaments to earn a slot for the London event.
"We have money for qualifying events. PSC has P400M and we don't have debts. We can very well fund athletes who need to undergo qualifying competitions for the Olympics," Iroy added.
He, however, said divers' participation in pre-Olympic qualifiers is the call of Philippine Swimming Inc. president Mark Joseph.
Philippines' diving queen Sheila Mae Perez and Rexel Ryan Fabriga saw action in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Perez, also a personnel of the Philippine Coastguard, said they should have gone straight to China for training after competing in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia last year.
"From China, we should have headed to London for the qualifying but we were told that there was no budget for us. It's very unfortunate. We can easily qualify for the Olympics if we are given the support we need," Perez said in a Facebook chat interview.
Chinese diving head coach, Zhang Dehu, also left for China but still keeps communication with them.
Perez, who hogged the headlines for sweeping three golds in the Philippines SEA Games in 2005, also wondered why her and Fabriga's monthly allowance of P20,000 were cut to P10,000. She said they didn't even receive a memo regarding the salary cut.
She admitted that other national sports associations have similar problems but the divers' immediate concerns are finding a head coach and rehabilitation of the diving pool and other facilities and training abroad should they prepare for the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 27, 2012.