Despite discouraging reports from Tokyo, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will still continue its preparation for the country’s participation in the Olympics this July.
PSC national training director Marc Velasco expressed confidence over the Summer Games, saying that both the organizers and the International Olympic Committee had already invested a lot and there’s no way for them to call it off.
But Tokyo residents are not buying it.
Reports have it that 80 percent of Tokyo residents are not in favor of opening their doors for athletes, coaches, officials, guests and spectators from more than 200 countries around the world due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, Japan is still in a state of emergency in seven prefectures and foreigners are still prohibited from entering the country as virus cases continue to surge.
Still, the PSC is under the presumption that the Olympics will push through.
“We are hopeful that the Olympics will push through even though we get reports that 80 percent of residents of Tokyo are strongly against it,” said Velasco during the weekly online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum yesterday.
“Japan has spent so much resources on it and I’m pretty sure that they are doing their best to make it happen.”
So far, the country has four Olympic qualifiers in Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno of boxing, EJ Obiena of athletics and Carlos Yulo of gymnastics.
But there are still a handful of elite athletes waiting to qualify like Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, Yuka Saso of golf, Kiyomi Watanabe of judo, Nesthy Petecio of boxing and Margielyn Didal of skateboarding.
With various Olympic qualifying tourneys either being scrapped or postponed, the PSC is still in the dark as to when Filipino athletes would formally punch their respective Olympic tickets.
But Velasco said they would always be ready.
“We cannot control the fate of the Olympics. What we can only control is the continuous support for the athletes in training,” he said, emphasizing that the bubble training for Olympic hopefuls is already in full swing at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.