Limpag: Project Obenia

Fair play

I WAS supposed to write more about Olympic hopeful EJ Obenia and how the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) should come up with something like a “Project Obenia” to get him to the Olympics.

The primary issue of course would be funding, which is the PSC’s mandate. But it turns out, the PSC is already funding Obenia’s training.

PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez forwarded to me their response to James Laferty’s article and said they were already funding the Olympian’s one-year training in Italy at P3.1 million, which already covered the coach’s fee.

He also pointed out if funding for training was a concern, the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) received P15 million from the PSC for 2018 and is set to get another P12.9 million for this year. The Patafa could, if it wanted to, help fund Obenia’s training program.

Poor Obenia. And I really thought he was struggling to come up with his bare bones budget of just slightly over P200,000 a month only to learn the PSC is giving him more than that. What was the purpose of the story? I guess the writer only knows.

But what is clear though is that he’s got potential. Winning the gold medal in the Asian level is no mean feat.

And it’s good that the PSC recognizes such potential by spending for his training abroad. Hidilyn Diaz has a team of coaches and trainers that help her concentrate only on competing and nothing else and it’s good that Obenia is being treated at the same level.

If Diaz’s success raised the profile of weightlifting in the country, I can see Obenia doing the same for athletics should he figure prominently in the international stage.

BOXING IN TOKYO. It looks like Aiba—the international federation for Olympic boxing—won’t be involved in the Olympics in Tokyo but there will still be boxing in the Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee wants Aiba out and I don’t think the embattled association can stop that.

What this latest twist means though is that the qualifiers for the Olympics, which is Aiba’s World Championships


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