The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has officially delisted “Swimming” as one of the “priority sports” and was replaced by Judo.
PSC Chairman Richie Garcia said that the PSC Executive Board has agreed to finally remove “Swimming” from the list of 10 priority sports since PSI’s program has not really changed nor improved for the past three years.
“Swimming has a total of 48 gold medals at stake,” said Garcia.
“But unfortunately, for the past three years, we have yet to see new and promising athletes. PSI had relied on same faces and has not produced new swimmers that could win medals in SEA Games,” added Garcia.
Although Jasmine Alkhaldi, Jessie Khing Lacuna and Josh Hall are really good swimmers and could deliver medals comes 2015 SEA Games, PSI’s inability to beef-up the team with the same caliber as the three is a reflection of a very bad swimming program in the country.
The last time a Filipino swimmer has won a gold medal in SEA Games was in 2009 where we brought home 4 gold medals; two of which were won by Miguel Molina, one by Daniel Coakly and one by Ryan Arabejo. All three are have already retired.
Judo, which replaced swimming as a priority sport, has new and young members in the team where few of them made it to the quarterfinals in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
PSC has first decided to replace Weighlifting with Chess as a priority sport.
“We just receive the PSC Board Resolution today informing us that Chess will be one of the priority sports of the agency in the next fiscal year. We will replace weightlifting in the priority list,” said Gonzales.
The ten priority sports then in the next fiscal year will be composed of Athletics, Archery, Boxing, Billiards, Karatedo, Taekwondo, Wushu, Wrestling, Chess and Judo.
SEA Games gold medalists in these priority sports are receiving a monthly allowance of 40,000 pesos, while 30,000 pesos and 25,000 pesos monthly allowance for silver and bronze medalists.
Priority athletes receive higher allowances from PSC compared to athletes who are not in the priority sports, although there are elite athletes not from the priority sports who are also receiving allowances like the priority athletes.