Olympic hopefuls wait for IATF nod to resume training

Olympic hopefuls wait for IATF nod to resume training

PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) remains keen on having the national athletes resume their training for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We are working towards the approval of the training of our national athletes who have earned their slots in the Games. We are hoping it gets the go-signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) first,” said PSC officer-in-charge Mon Fernandez.

Fernandez and National Training Director Marc Velasco raised the said concern during a virtual meeting hosted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday.

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra, sports leaders from the Department of Education, and play-for-pay leagues which were not included in the approved team practice protocols attended the said PSC-GAB-DOH Stakeholders’ Meeting, which was done online.

According to Velasco, the PSC already met with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) regarding the return to national team practice.

“The POC will determine through their NSAs (national sports associations) who are coming for the Olympic slots and they will be the ones to return first or if possible, we can have them in a bubble,” he added.

Only one national team, the Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team, was cleared to practice again ahead of the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Austria next year.

Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3×3, the chief backer of Gilas 3×3, pitched its practice protocols to the IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases along with the Philippine Basketball Association and the Philippines Football League.

While it remains de jure amateur at this point, Mitra said in an earlier interview that Chooks 3×3 is now eyeing full-fledged professionalization for its next season.

None of the national athletes has been tested positive for Covid-19 so far, which inspires PSC to bat for the resumption of their training. (PNA)

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