Almost 500 athletes representing Team Philippines in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8 and the 4th Asian Para Games from October 22 to 28, are expected to turn up for the sendoff ceremony on Monday, September 18, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Reception Hall in Pasay City.
The 11 a.m. event, organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) led by Chairman Richard Bachmann, invited the presence of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin to provide the inspiration for the national squad to perform at their best at the upcoming quadrennial meet.
“Our athletes are the heart and soul of the country’s campaign in Hangzhou, both in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games,” said Chairman Bachmann.
The Opening Ceremony will be held at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Expo Center, with medals from 481 events in 61 disciplines to be disputed.
Team Philippines previously sent 271 athletes to the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang in 2018 and brought home four golds, two silvers and 15 bronzes as the Nationals finished at 19th place.
The country’s golden performances that year were courtesy of golfer Yuka Saso (women’s individual and team events), weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (53kg) and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.
“With the all-out support from our national government through the PSC, I’m positive that our athletes will deliver,” added the sports agency chief, who is set to be joined by PSC Commissioner Bong Coo, Commissioner Fritz Gaston, Commissioner Edward Hayco, and Commissioner Walter Torres in the event.
Sports officials from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC), the different National Sports Associations and Team Philippines’ Chef de Mission Richard Gomez are also expected to attend the sendoff rites.
Meanwhile, the government-run sports body also confirmed that all competing athletes will be provided monetary allowance during the course of the Games, regardless of the Category A and Category B classifications originally set by the POC and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC).
“The PSC will always be here to give all the necessary support for our sports heroes,” concluded Bachmann. (ai/mnm)