By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – President R. Marcos Jr. has issued a challenge to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) for better performance among Filipino athletes come the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
POC president Bambol Tolentino said on Thursday that Marcos wants the Philippine team to exceed its historic four-medal haul in Tokyo in 2021 highlighted by Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo’s gold medal in weightlifting.
“The President wants more medals in Paris,” Tolentino said following the POC’s year-end general assembly at the East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Parañaque.
“I just told the President that we delivered a lot of Olympic medals during the past administration, and he replied that it’s not enough and he wants more.” He then said that he is responding to the challenge on behalf of the Nationals.
“I answered, ‘Yes Mr. President, we’ll do more in the Paris Olympics,‘” Tolentino relayed how he replied to Marcos.
According to the concurrent Tagaytay mayor, at least 12 athletes are certain to qualify for the Paris Olympics, but with two years left before the said event, the number is expected to increase and could even surpass the total number of Filipinos who competed in Tokyo at 19.
On the other hand, Tolentino looks forward to an even stronger alliance between the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
For him, the improving harmony between the two is the main reason why Philippine sports is on a resurgence.
“That’s the secret, our relationship with the PSC is getting better and better,” Tolentino said. (PNA)