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POC approves ‘Have money, Will travel’ for 80 athletes in SEAG appeals’ list

DUE to budgetary constraints, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will allow the ‘have money, will travel’ scheme for the country’s participation in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam set May 12-25.

The idea was brought out after 80 athletes from various national sports associations (NSAs) were listed in the appeals list or Group B category which POC president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino said their respective NSAs must pay on their expenses during the game proper. Group B athletes are non-medalists in the last Manila SEAG edition but showed potential.

“We understand the situation because of the budgetary constraint in the PSC, so we have to employ belt-tightening measures as regards to officials and equipment,” said Tolentino after meeting with officials of the government sports agency and Chief of Mission PSC Commissioner Ramon ‘El Presidente’ Fernandez.

The PSC has earmarked P200 million for SEAG preparation, including the P50M expenses for the tournament proper. The POC has initially submitted 627 athletes in the Entry by Numbers to the Hanoi Organizing Committee, with the Entry by Names expected to forward in April.

Fernandez said, that the sports venue inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and PhilSports in Pasig City is now ready for athletes’ ‘bubble’ training.

Members of Team Philippines will fly in two batches aboard chartered flights to Vietnam—the first on May 6 and the second on May 10, thus allowing those in the second wave to still vote in the May 9 general elections.  

Filipino athletes will still be competing in all but one—xiangqi or Chinese chess—of the 40 sports in the Hanoi program.

They will be divided into four clusters–1A for Hanoi, 1B outskirts of Hanoi, and 2A and 2B outside of Hanoi, including canoe-kayak and rowing in Hai Phong.  

Included in 1A are sports of Kurash, Gymnastics, Taekwondo, Baseball, Billiards, Sepak Takraw, Bowling, E-Sports, Vovinam, Jujitsu, Wrestling, Dance Sports, Weightlifting, Archery, Bodybuilding, Fencing, Judo, Pencak Silat, Wushu, and multi-event athletics and swimming.

Sports included in 1B are Men’s Football, Karate, Badminton, Boxing, Handball, Tennis, Kickboxing, Cycling, Muay, Golf, and Table Tennis while comprising 2A are Chess, Xiangqi, Beach Handball, Beach Volleyball, Indoor Volleyball, Duathlon and Triathlon and Women’s Football. Water sports of Rowing and Canoeing will be played as 2B sports. 

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