PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chair Noli Eala yesterday renewed the agency’s commitment to support the national boxers’ quest at claiming a historic Olympic gold medal in the 2024 Paris Games.
Mr. Eala’s reassurance came after he welcomed back Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio and Hergie Bacdayan from their heroic efforts in the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan recently.
Mr. Paalam took the gold while Mmess. Petecio and Bacdayan a bronze each.
“We are in full support of our national boxers all the way to Paris Olympics,” said Mr. Eala.
Mr. Eala said he had already talked to Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ed Picson about leveling up the support and programs for the elite athletes.
“We will look into the possibility of building a team composed of coaches and sports science experts,” said Mr. Eala referring to a blueprint similar to the one the agency created for Tokyo Olympic gold winner Hidilyn Diaz and World Championship pole-vault bronze medalist EJ Obien, who were provided with a foreign coach, a strength conditioning trainer, a nutritionist and a psychologist.
Mr. Picson, who was with secretary-general Marcus Manalo, for his part, said the national team will take an early holiday break and will return early to training on Dec. 4 to prepare for multiple events next year including the Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games.
“Our boxers have a nice facility in Baguio, which we thank the PSC for. We are making that sacrifice now, in the lead-up to tournaments happening as early as February next year, prior to the Cambodia SEA Games, and eventually to Paris,” said Mr. Picson.
The country had its biggest haul in a single Olympic edition after a pair of silver by Mr. Paalam and Ms. Petecio and a bronze by Eumir Marcial in last year’s Tokyo Games but missed out on a very first mint in the sport.
But with the PSC giving its all-out support again, the wait could be over in Paris. — Joey Villar