THE country will send a lean delegation in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August, a Philippine sports official said on Monday.

Mark Joseph, the newly-installed chief of mission of Team Philippines, said they could only send a lean delegation because of the strict qualifying tournaments which started last year to earn slots.

“The International Olympic Committee is looking if these Olympic sports included appeals to the youth," said Joseph, who is also the deputy secretary general of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

"I also think that the qualifiers are three times harder than the Summer Olympic qualifying tournaments because they only offer limited slots for the youth," he said in a radio interview Monday.

Joseph was appointed as chief of mission during the January 23 POC executive board meeting along with Joey Romasanta, the delegation head for the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November; and Jeff Tamayo, the head of the 2nd Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman in December.

The Youth Games is the biggest gathering for athletes 14 to 18 years old. Some 205 countries will compete in the 26 sports disciplines. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)