The 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam serves as a springboard for Filipino athletes to prepare for the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, and the Paris Olympics in 2024, according to the president of the Philippine Athletic Commission, William Ramirez.
“We expect the SEA Games to be a great exposure for our athletes who will make it to the Asian Games through to the Olympics, just like what we did last time,” said Ramirez, who followed closely. the progress of the Philippines team at SEA. Manila Games.
The PSC has consistently provided financial support to the entire 980-strong Philippine delegation in the ongoing 11-nation biennial, in which 641 Filipino athletes were entered in 38 sports.
With all the athlete funding at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and the 2019 SEA Games, the Philippines was able to win its first gold medal at the Olympics last year in Tokyo thanks to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.
“Our medalists going through qualification for the 2024 Olympics will get the preparation they need here at the SEA Games, Asian Games and other top international games,” Ramirez said.
“By supporting the entire delegation, you are also giving non-medal winners the opportunity to become outstanding athletes in the future.”
Ramirez again expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte and lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate as well as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for funding Team Philippines at the SEA Games to the tune of of 232 million pesos.
“The president has been very supportive while our legislators have helped us with the budget constraints of SEA Games,” Ramirez said.
“We were also very lucky that despite the pandemic we were able to save from the NSDF (National Sports Development Fund) which came from PAGCOR and PCSO. We raised the available funds and instead of sending only 300 medalists, we were able to send them all.
Along with the 300 medalists from the 2019 SEA Games, the 38 National Sports Associations (NSAs) included non-medallists and young athletes from their respective development teams in the roster.
This year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, have been postponed to next year due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country, the Olympic Council of Asia announced recently.
It could still serve Filipino athletes seeking qualification for the next Olympics since the Asian Games will take place a year before the Summer Games in Paris.