Select track and field bets who stood out in the 30th Southeast Asian Games have been given assurance by the Philippine Sports Commission of its all-out support in their respective buildup for the Tokyo Olympics.
PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, right, meets with Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), Inc. President Philip Ella Juico Thursday at Philsports Complex in Pasig, to discuss about the Olympic program for athletics for 2020. (PSC Photo via Twitter)
Philippine Track and Field Association head Philip Ella Juico on Wednesday met with PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, who promised that the government funding arm would take good care of pole vaulters EJ Obiena and Natalie Uy, sprinter-hurdler Eric Cray, runner Kristina Knott, marathoner Christine Hallasgo and shot putter Willie Morrison.
Obiena qualified for Tokyo after a landmark win in Italy late last year while the rest are working to join him.
Juico said that while focus this year would be on Tokyo, the PSC’s support will run until 2021 as Obiena and company make a defense of their respective SEAG crowns.
Athletics bagged a total of 11 gold medals in the 2019 SEAG and both Juico and Ramirez agreed that it would be a heartbreaker if the Philippines doesn’t capitalize on the momentum.
“If we finish way behind in the next SEAG (in 2021 in Vietnam), everyone’s gonna say that our win in 2019 was just a fluke,” said Juico.
“We can’t afford to place way below again (in 2021) just like after we won the overall title in 2005 (when the Philippines fell to sixth in 2007 in Nakhon Ratchasima),” said Juico.
Date: January 10, 2020 | By: Nick Giongco | Newspaper: Manila Bulletin | Source: https://sports.mb.com.ph/2020/01/09/track-bets-guaranteed-psc-backing-in-tokyo-olympics-buildup-athletics-chief/