AFTER this year’s Hangzhou Asian Games, athletes seeking to see action in the Asian Games would have to meet specific standards or advance through the qualifying process.
“In the Hangzhou Asian Games, lahat puwede makalaro, wala pang qualifiers,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino during yesterday’s first Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum of the year at the East Ocean Palace in Parañaque.
(There is no qualifier in Hangzhou Asian Games, its free for all)
“Next Asian Games, may qualifying na, mahigpit na at hindi na free for all, which is the right move,” he added referring to the 2026 Asiad in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan.
(In the next Asian there will be qualifier and its not free for all)
The mayor from Tagaytay City said the Olympic Council of Asia recently made the decision of implementing a qualifying system to limit participants.
Mr. Tolentino stressed he isn’t worried by the recent move.
As this developed, he is optimistic the country could still eclipse, if not match, its four-gold, two-silver and 15-bronze harvest in the last Asiad edition in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia seven years ago.
One of the athletes he was referring to deliver the victories was Olympic and world weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, who accounted for one of the four mints in Indonesia. And there’s World Championship pole vault bronze winner EJ Obiena, world champion gymnast Caloy Yulo and the magnificent boxers headed by Tokyo Games silver winners Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial.
Also, the Hangzhou Games will also serve as one of the qualifying tournaments for next year’s Paris Olympics for some sports including boxing that should make it more encouraging for Filipinos seeking for Olympic glory to excel more. — Joey Villar