Philippines, 20 Jun 2019
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News  


OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: PH to host the 2030 Asian Games?


PhilBoxing.com


Reports said that Indonesia’s Erick Thohir, said to be the President of the Asian Games Federation, made a pitch for the Philippines as possible host of the Asian Games 12 years from now quadrennial in 2030.

Why not? It’s been a long time really, 68 years to be exact, since the Philippines played host for the first and only time the quadrennial conclave among the region’s best and finest athletes. That was in 1954 when the country was still enjoying its glorious moment in the Asian and word sporting circle. The hosts finished runner up overall, next only to eventual champion Japan.


Mr. Thohir, the reports said, was apparently impressed by the on-going preparations the 2019 Philippines Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee is undertaking towards staging the 30th edition of the SEA Games a little over a year from now.

Mr. Thohir, it was also said, was here as President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and member of the SEA Games Federation that held a two-day meeting here to decide on the number of sports to be contested in that edition of the quadrennial meet.

So, the news, indeed should be welcomed by all local sports leaders and sports-loving Filipinos. Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas, in fact, welcomed the suggestion and was even quoted as saying, “If only Filipinos put their hearts and minds into it… we can do this again, even on a larger scale. If we learn from this experience, this will give us enough courage.”

The 66-year-old POC president even suggested 2030 is a little too far ahead, and pointed to the others at the head table to take a good look at the possibility.

This OUTSIDER though has some apprehension on the veracity of said reports for several reasons. First, Mr. Thohir was reported to be the president of the Asian Games Federation which is already non-existent having been replaced by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), whose president, incidentally, is Ahmad-Fahad of Kuwait, not Thohir

No, this is not to insinuate that Mr. Thohir was misrepresenting himself when he made the suggestion in front of members of the SEAGF including high-ranking officials of the POC and Philippine Sports Commission. I blame the reporters who wrote he stories, who I believe either ignorant of the international sports structure. Or maybe they made not enough efforts researching on the subject before writing their reports.

o0o

A third place finish, no less. This, POC president Vargas announced during the SEAGF meeting held Wednesday and Thursday last week attended by his peer fellow POC officials, including heads of thr different National Sports Associations as target of the Philippines in hosting the 2019 Games.

I have no way of checking if that’s a marching order to those concerned, but it sounded like one. Sir Ricky sounded sort of being tired seeing the Filipino athletes shamed by their counterparts from our other 10 neighboring countries comprising the SEA Games since 2005 when we won the overall championship right here in our turf.

During the federation assembly, which also so he body approve the initial sports to be disputed in 2019, Boss Ricky said he only has two things in mind in the country’s hosting the 11-nation aggrupation, first, “Put our best foot forward as hospitable hosts and give the best that we can and, second, improve our standings to at least the top three, and best if we get the overall championship.”

The Philippine ended up third overall when the Games first traveled Manila in 1981, second the next time around in 1991 and overall champion in 2005.

We started dropping from the medal standing in 2007 when we finished sixth, our lowest since our admission to the fold in 1977 and improved to fifth in 2009 before skidding anew to sixth in 2011 and worse to seventh in 2013. In the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the Philippine was back in sixth.

Sports approved to be included in the 2019 calendar are arnis, athletics, aquatics, archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, billiards, bowling, boxing, cycling, equestrian/polo, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, judo/jiujitsu, karatedo, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, squash, taekwondo, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling/kurash, wushu, arnis, dancesport and muay.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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