by Nick Giongco
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is shelling out P100-million for the participation of close to 500 athletes and 189 coaches to the 29th Southeast Asian Games this August in Malaysia.
PSC Executive Director Carlo Abarquez said the bulk of the budget goes to the purchase of equipment alone while the rest will be broken down into allowances, hotel expenses and airfare.
With the PSC providing all-out support to the athletes, chief of mission Cynthia Carrion of gymnastics is calling on the SEAG-bound athletes to put their best foot forward in achieving the goal of finishing fourth in the medal standings.
The last time in Singapore two years ago, the Philippines could only place sixth after collecting a measly 29 gold medals.
Carrions insists that with the PSC’s assistance, Team Philippines can pull off a major surprise by landing fourth.
“We can win a minimum of 40 gold medals, 45 but I am targeting 50,” said Carrion yesterday.
The Philippines is taking part in all but one sport in the 38-calendar biennial sportsfest.
“Train well, don’t give up,” said Carrion, who was joined on the dais by deputy CDM Robert Bachmann, PSC chief of staff Ronel Abrenica, SEAG Task Force member Tom Carrasco and national training director Marc Velasco.
“We cannot be kulelat again. No. 5 or No. 4 (would be okay),” added Carrion.
The final list of athletes and officials will be known on June 10.
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