SENDING a delegation consisting of the “best-of-the-best” from each sport the county is participating is the best solution to lessen the impact of the addition and subtraction of events that will be implemented in the coming 27th Southeast Asian Games this December in Myanmar.
This, according to national contingent chef de mission and SEA Games task force head Jeff Tamayo, was the consensus arrived at during a meeting among heads and representatives of the different national sports associations concerned and task force members.
“Token representation? No, we don’t believe in that. The connotation is bad,” Tamayo said. “It’s as if we’re only sending a delegation for the sake of sending without any hope of performing well.”
Tamayo said the meeting was held for the purpose of assessing the results of the last edition of the Games in Indonesia with the end in view of improving the Filipino athletes’ 36-gold, 56-silver and 77-bronze performance that gifted the country its worst performance of sixth overall.
“Studying carefully our performance, the consensus arrived at is that all is not lost yet for us to fashion out a decent and credible finish despite losing medals we expect to win but will not due to the many addition and subtraction of events not favorable to us,” Tamayo, head of the soft tennis federation.
“We have to do better than repeat our 36-gold medal performance, translate our 56-silver medal and 77-bronze medal into gold by challenging our athletes to raise the level of their skill to the next bracket which is the Asian level,” Tamayo said.
“To do that, we have agreed to send our athletes in as many Asian level competitions from now until the SEA Games in December as possible. We should forget about just reaching SEA Games level of performance and concentrate on elevating to a higher level,” he said.
Tamayo would not say what sports and how many athletes will carry the country’s colors in the August 11-22 Myanmar conclave except to say that “most-likely, those which have consistently performed well, especially in the Asian level, can make it.”
“The good news is, we were informed that events in athletics and aquatics scrapped earlier will be restored, the two being compulsory sports,” he said.
“This is the time to challenge our athletes to, instead satisfying themselves in meeting the SEA Games criteria, do better than that, which we believe they are capable of. The Philippine Sports Commission is agreeable to this solution. Of course, the NSAs concerned should to their jobs to recommend and justify who they think will pass the test,” he said.
Tamayo said that while all NSAs affected by the “dagdag-bawas” scheme bewailed the SEA Games Federation decision to favor Myanmar, all also sympathized with the host country belonging to the third-world developing nation wanting to make a dent in the Southeast Asian sports community.