Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia yesterday aired his optimism that the country will deliver the gold medals in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon in September.
In 2010 in Guangzhou, the Philippines bagged three gold medals in boxing, billiards and bowling. Garcia is hoping that the effort will be surpassed in Incheon.
“That remains our goal. Let’s hope that we can win five or even more,” said Garcia, who will serve as chef-de-mission of the Philippine delegation.
“Maybe we can hit five,” said Garcia.
The chief of the government’s funding arm in sports is looking at eight or nine sports that can deliver the medals in this Asian Games.
Garcia mentioned boxing, cycling (BMX), weightlifting, archery, bowling and of course basketball as possible source of the medals.
“Hopefully we get the luck of the draw in some of the sports. We are confident with our basketball team but let’s hope that if they get to face the stronger teams it will be in the latter part,” he said.
Garcia said the Filipino athletes are continuously training for the Asian Games.
And with four months to the Games, a total of 142 athletes from 19 sports have already earned berths to the Philippine lineup, with close to a hundred more knocking on the door.
Leading the early qualifiers are the men’s basketball team, the women’s softball team (15), the men’s rugby team (12), track and field (10), taekwondo (12), bowling (12) and boxing (8).
The PSC has earmarked P50 million for the training needs of the athletes and another P30 million for the actual participation.