The Southeast Asian Games to be held here formally kicks off next week and organizers are racing against time to finish competition venues.
But the delays in setting those up have robbed local athletes the home court advantage they are supposed to be enjoying, according to Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, a former national athlete and currently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines.
“Ang home-court advantage kasama na roon ’yung makakapag-training ka kung saan ka magko-compete,” Cojuangco said in an interview on dzMM’s “Fastbreak” Saturday.
“Malaking bagay ’yung alam mo ang surroundings mo, alam ko kung saan nanggagaling ang ilaw, ingay. ’Yung kaba mo mawawala ’pag nagko-compete ka na, kahit papaano mawawala kung at home ka na kung saan ka lalaban.
“Kaya nga home court, di ba?”
Before transitioning to becoming a sports official, Cojuangco represented the Philippines in equestrian.
She won gold medals in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and the 2005 SEA Games in Manila.
Cojuangco later served as director and secretary general of the Philippine Equestrian Federation, the sport’s national governing body, before holding the IOC post.
“Sa totoo lang ’yung experience ko nu’ng 2005 hindi naging madali maging atleta na nagko-compete sa Pilipinas kasi ’yung buhay ko bilang isang Pilipino, ina, kaibigan hindi nawawala ’yun. Nadagdag ’yung priority mo which is na SEA Games,” she said.
“Kung ganu’n na nga ang sitwasyon tapos hindi mo pa na-maximize ang pag-host, sayang naman.”
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