By Nick Giongco
As the trend points to the Tokyo Olympics being postponed, the leadership of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Tuesday said a delay looks the more viable option.
“It’s better to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rather than cancellation so as not to lose (Philippines) our chance for our first gold medal—or even more golds,” said POC president Bambol Tolentino.
“If the Games are postponed, more Filipinos have more chance to qualify. A postponement would mean more time to train for those who have already qualified and for those who are still trying to qualify.”
Word got out from a high-ranking official from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) early Tuesday that the Tokyo Games set July 24 to Aug. 9 won’t proceed as scheduled given the current situation.
Still, a postponement of one year, according to Tolentino “is ideal enough.”
With all the Olympic-related tournament and qualifiers put on hold, athletes from everywhere have been unable to train and compete at the highest level.
“I favor a postponement because the health and safety of everyone in sports—both in the Philippines and all over the world—is paramount in this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tolentino.
“The POC advises all athletes, coaches, officials and stakeholders to stay safe, stay at home and observe government and Health Department protocols so we could defeat this virus,” he added.
The Philippines, so far, has four confirmed qualifiers: pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno.
Obiena is coronavirus-ravaged Italy while Yulo is in Japan. Marcial and Magno are observing quarantine protocol after a stint in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in Amman, Jordan.