MANILA — The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said Friday it has begun meeting with officials of national sports associations (NSAs) on how national athletes could resume their training in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“This is to brief them on how they will formulate their updated protocol. This is also for submission to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to allow Olympic qualifying sports to start training,” national training director Marc Velasco said in a statement.
Velasco said the PSC recognizes that “our Olympic hopefuls need to maintain momentum and they do that by going back to focused training.”
The PSC’s medical scientific athletes services (MSAS), consisting of Dr. Randolph Mayo, Dr. Janis de Vera, Dr. Charles Corpuz, Dr. Joji Quintos, Dr. Pilar Villanueva, Dr. Victor Gaddi, Dr. Arsenio Lantin, Dr. William Occidental, Dr. Raul Alcantara, and Abigail Rivera, commenced with the briefings on Tuesday, meeting first with Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Ed Gastanes, fencing president Richard Gomez, and secretaries general Ed Picson and Jercyl Lerin of of boxing and rowing, respectively.
On Wednesday, the PSC-MSAS met with secretaries general Rosendo Sombrio of archery and Billy Sumagui of cycling, as well as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas director for operations Butch Antonio, and Coaches Academy head Jong Uichico.
Basketball could be the first to resume its Olympic-related training as the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3×3, which backs the Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 squad going to the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, already submitted its training protocols to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) that was approved by the IATF.
The Gilas 3×3 is just waiting for the joint administrative order (JAO) to be formally released before resuming practices. According to GAB, the JAO could be out by next week.
On Thursday, the PSC-MSAS convened with Dave Carter and Cynthia Carrion-Norton, the top officials of judo and gymnastics, respectively. The PSC-MSAS also met with officials of golf and karatedo.
Officials of triathlon, skateboarding, table tennis, taekwondo, canoe kayak, weightlifting, and wrestling will convene with the PSC-MSAS next week. By the end of the month, the PSC-MSAS will compile all the practice protocols made by the NSAs and will be recommended to the IATF.
“The IATF always (has) the last say,” Velasco added. (PNA)