Sports in the midst of Covid-19

WHILE the rest of the sporting industry was crippled here and abroad due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) global pandemic, online chess and online sports forums flourished.

Davao City woodpushers often play in online chess tournaments being held almost every day over lichess.org or chess.com servers.

Notable wins lately were that of Dabawenyos international master (IM) John Marvin Miciano and Fide Master (FM) Austin Jacob Literatus.

The 19-year-old Miciano bagged the juniors championship of the Philippine qualifying tournament to lead the country’s stint in the 1st Asian Juniors and Girls Online Chess Zonal Championship.

He finished ninth overall in the Asian Zonal but his final round performance saved the day for Team Philippines to clinch the gold and bronze medals for his teammates IM Daniel Quizon and Chester Neil Reyes, respectively.

NCFP executive director lawyer Cliburn Orbe, in a Facebook comment, thanked Miciano "for salvaging a draw from a dead lost endgame against the Vietnamese Le Minh Hoang in the last round. Had he given up and resigned, Le Minh Hoang would have been the champion, Daniel 2nd and Chester 4th! What a team player bravo! That draw was worth gold and bronze.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Literatus of Toril pocketed the title of the Happy Easter Chess Arena nationwide online chess tournament after topping the 2nd Atty. Jong Guevarra Mindanao Online Blitz Grand Prix and the National Master Prospero Cruz Memorial Blitz Arena.

Literatus, a former National University (NU) UAAP chess multiple gold medalist, is scheduled to play for Davao All-Stars in duel goodwill online tournament with Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro City team.

Filipino FM Sander Severino, however, scored a historic feat having captured the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (Ipca) World Online Chess Championship 2020 title on June 17. He is coached by Dabawenyo international arbiter and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Regional Director James Infiesto.

Virtual forums

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)-Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) hold regular sports forums aired live in their respective social media accounts.

Topics tackled in these forums are diverse, from sports psychology to featuring different national athletes and sports stars from various events.

Mindanao Peace Games convener Noli Ayo of the Ateneo de Davao University was among the first who explored this virtual mode of keeping sports alive amid the crisis. He jump-started a series of online sports forums with athletes, international resource speakers and local stakeholders, also discussing several topics that are close to the hearts of sports enthusiasts.

Lockdown training

Since March 15, 2020, when the national and local governments declared an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the public health emergency, thus disallowing public mass gatherings such as sports activities, all tournaments in all sports were canceled in Davao City, in the country and the world.

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 preparation of Filipino hopefuls was foiled since host Japan was among the first countries who recorded confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Athletes were locked down in their homes but they continue to keep themselves fit and healthy during the quarantine.

In a five-part series of this writer, Olympian marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, Davao City’s PBA Meralco Bolts player Baser Amer, Southeast Asian Games 2015 wakeboard double bronze medalist Maiquel Jawn “Mikee” Selga, chess IM John Marvin Miciano and 2019 SEA Games 5,000-meter bronze medalist and duathlon bronze medalist Mary Pauline Fornea shared their daily exercise regimen and diet programs.

Sports may have been brought to a standstill with this pandemic but it continues to fight to stay alive.

Date: June 27, 2020 | By: Marianne Abalayan | Newspaper: Sun Star | Source: https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1861501/Davao/Sports/Sports-in-the-midst-of-Covid-19