MANILA - Filipino athletes considered by the government to be capable of winning an Olympic medal can be assured of long-term financial support, a top sports official said on Monday.
The country has been on a roll the past few weeks in international competitions, highlighted by pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, 22, and gymnast Carlos Yulo, 19, booking tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said his office will shoulder the training expenses of Yulo and Obiena, as well as other medal prospects, as far down the road as the 2028 Olympic Games in the United States.
“We will provide them with everything that they need to win a medal in the Olympics,” Ramirez said during a press briefing in Manila.
“If they can’t win the gold in Tokyo, we will continue helping them to become better in Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028),” the PSC official added, a promise he is patterning after the career trajectory of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who debuted in the Olympics in 2008 and won a silver medal two Games later in 2016.
Meanwhile, Yulo, the first Filipino gymnast to win a world championship gold medal, and Nesthy Petecio, who topped her division in the boxing worlds, will be awarded P1 million each for their feats.
Boxer Eumir Marcial, who won a silver in the world championship, stands to receive P500,000.
Marcial’s podium finish happened in September, around the time Diaz pocketed a pair of bronze medals in the world weightlifting championships.
Earlier in the same month, Obiena’s performance in a competition in Italy paved the way for his entry into next year’s Olympics.
Yulo and Petecio’s accomplishments happened over the weekend.
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