Around 18 heads of national sports associations are eligible to run for president or chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee should the POC choose to hold its regular elections this November.
Cycling chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is still among the leading candidates for the POC's top post if polls will indeed take place.
Elections are supposed to be scheduled six months from now, more than a year after Tolentino took the post once held by Joey Romasanta of volleyball and Ricky Vargas of boxing.
This time, Tolentino could face challenges from not one, but from 17 other NSA leaders, who are eligible for the post of either president of chairman.
Among those who could challenge him are Vargas, field hockey head Jose Cojuangco Jr., Al Panlilio of basketball, Mariano Araneta Jr. of football, Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez of fencing and modern pentathlon and Tom Carrasco of triathlon.
The other candidates who can also be in contention are Dave Carter of judo, Cynthia Carrion of gymnastics, Jean Henri Lhuillier of softball, Clint Aranas of archery, Steve Hontiveros of handball and taekwondo's Robert Aventajado.
Ting Ledesma of table tennis is also in the running with Alvin Aguilar of wrestling, Philip Ella Juico of athletics and Romasanta.
Tolentino said the POC General Assembly will convene when all community quarantine measures are lifted to discuss the possibility holding the elections during the last week of November.
“Definitely, we will meet after the quarantine is over. We can hold it (elections) next year. But I prefer to have it this year so it will be a four-year term (for the one who will take the presidency),” said Tolentino
Elections of National Olympic Committees around the world are usually held at the end of every four-year Olympic cycle.
Since this year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed for next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, advise from the International Olympic Committee is needed on how each NOC will have their respective polls.
Vargas was elected as president of the POC in June of last year, but resigned his post after a month.
Romasanta took over as acting president, before Tolentino was formally elected as POC president on July 28, 2019.
Tolentino, a congressman representing the 7th district of Cavite (Tagaytay), took in 24 votes when the counting ended at the close of special elections of the POC at the Sheraton Hotel in Manila. He beat Juico for the post.
The president of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines became the 12th president of the POC.