Philippine Taekwondo Association secretary general Monsour del Rosario sought the Philippine Olympic Committee’s help in convincing the hosts of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore to reinstate six events cut from their program.
Speaking during the POC general assembly yesterday, Del Rosario a reduction in the number of weight categories in taekwondo to three each in the men’s and women’s divisions from the original slate of six apiece.
According to del Rosario, taekwondo has been played with a total of 12 or more weight divisions since the 1987 SEAG so it came as a shock that the Singaporeans have cut it dramatically.
“Singapore has hosted the SEA Games before and agreed to 12 weight divisions. Why only now that they decided to cut it further?” said del Rosario.
Taekwondo has been a consistent source of medal for Team Philippines, with the Pinoy jins copping four gold, four silver and six silver medals in the 2013 edition in Myanmar.
Chef de mission Julian Camacho said he will try to lobby on behalf of the PTA during the CDM meeting but admitted it would be hard as the program consisting of 36 sports and 402 events had already been finalized last June.
He said other martial arts like wushu and judo have also seen their events reduced in the Singapore SEAG, which could dampen Team Philippines’ overall quest for a better placing in the medal standings after a dismal seventh last time.
“Of course there will be some impact (on the medal aspirations) but I’ve been telling the NSAs we have to deal with it by working hard on the events that are there as we try to achieve our goal of third or fourth overall,” Camacho said.
The POC has formed a “management committee” to be manned by first vice president Joey Romasanta, Chippy Espiritu and Moying Martelino to screen the athletes seeking slots in the contingent.
Camacho said that, unlike in the previous campaigns, there won’t be any set criteria for the selection.
“We’re not setting a criteria. We’ll leave it up to the NSAs to nominate the athletes who they feel have the potential, but they will have to justify their inclusion,” said Camacho.
The group will start conducting one-on-one meetings with the NSAs today and on Nov. 3, 6, and 10.
Source : Olmin Leyba, Philstar.com