The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) expressed serious concern over the failure of boxing and taekwondo — two sports in which the country has been pinning its hopes for its first Olympic gold medal — to send delegates to the 2nd Youth Olympic Games.
POC first vice president Joey Romasanta said he was surprised over the dismal performance of boxing and taekwondo in their respective qualifying tournaments, resulting in their exclusion from the biggest youth conclave set in Nanjing, China from Aug. 14 to 28.
The junior boxers sputtered in the Aiba World Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria with only Hipolito Banal Jr. advancing to the second round only because he drew a bye in the first round.
Aside from Banal, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap) also sent Presco Carcosia, Sammy Bernabe and Daniel Maamo in the prestigious competition that drew 522 boxers from 90 countries.
It was the same with the Philippine Taekwondo Federation, which sent Leslie Marie Agyamoc, Rryel Joshua Ramirez, Colleen Heria, Kaye Shanelle Romuar, King Philip Pineda and Gian Francis Rubio to the YOG Qualification Tournament in Taipei City.
“I really don’t know what happened. I don’t know why there are no qualifiers from taekwondo and boxing,” said Romasanta during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s in Malate, Manila.
“Both taekwondo and boxing, hindi naman sila kulang ng supply ng athletes. They have very good grassroots programs. That’s why I’m wondering what happened. Nagulat ako because they had to go to Bulgaria. Wala na akong nadinig from them.”
Abap executive director Ed Picson, however said: “The positions were staffed. It really happens in boxing.”
With the boxers and taekwondo jins out, the POC is pinning its hopes on Luis Gabriel Moreno and Bianca Cristina Gotauco of archery, Ava Loren Verdeflor of gymnastics, Victoria Deldio of triathlon, and Kobe Paras, Isidro Mosqueda, John Paul Cauilan, and Armando San Juan of boys’ 3-on-3 basketball.
“We are expecting a lot from these athletes. We expect them to win it all,” said YOG chief of mission Jonnie Go, who graced the weekly forum together with Asian Games deputy chief of mission Julian Camacho.
By : Julius Manicad, Tribune.net.ph