Monday, October 25, 2021

Samante: Where to?

Game On

AFTER the rousing conquests of team Pilipinas in the Tokyo Olympics, many are beginning to ask where are we heading next?

Paris 2024 is only a couple of years away. Continuous training and competitions would be best to sustain our momentum. We are delighted with reports indicating that our Tokyo athletes are already preparing for it in various overseas training courses.

The SEA Games in Vietnam would have been an excellent follow-up to Tokyo. But because of the Covid-19 crisis, it was postponed.

Apart from these, there are calls to replicate the formula for our medal wins by employing the same tactics they had: foreign coaching, sports science, food, nutrition, etc.

After all these years, it is a mixed feeling of joy and sadness relative to this realization for Philippine sports. Joy because we have finally found the winning formula to succeed in high-level competitions. Sadness because it took us all these years to finally recognize it.

There is no monopoly of knowledge. Each of us has our strengths and weaknesses. We become better by learning from one another.

In the heyday of Philippine sports, our Asian neighbors looked up to us for training. Several years hence, we seem stuck to our systems while most of them adapted to the changes across the globe.

We are only fourth in the All-time medal tally behind Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia in Southeast Asia alone. In the Asian Games All-time medal tally, we are twelfth. It is an indicator of how far the gap is between us and everybody else in Asia.

We can close the gap between Asia and us by building on the gains of Tokyo. As stated, we have found the winning formula; we have the support our athletes need both from the government and private entities. Our athletes are highly motivated to pursue greater glory in the following competitions. There is no other way to go but forward.

Let us go back to the question, where are we heading now?

Notes from the sidelines:

It is the third year of Game On! My gratitude to the avid followers of this column, both in print and online. Your kind words sent through FB are fuel enough to keep on writing and sharing. Who would have thought that a gig like this would last three years? Thank you, Sunstar Davao, and to boss Marianne for the break.

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