MANILA---Can a bigger delegation guarantee better performance in the Southeast Asian Games?
Philippine Olympic Committee chair Monico Puentevella posed that question to his counterparts in the Philippine Sports Commission as he expressed concern on the reported 800 athletes to be fielded in SEA Games slated Nov. 11 to 25 in Jakarta and Southern Java.
He said a huge delegation will cause the budget to swell way beyond the P30 million earmarked by the PSC, adding that a big contingent does not necessarily mean a big result anyway.
“That would be how much? Close to P100 million? We may be getting carried away,” said Puentevella.
“There should be a criteria for selecting the athletes, we should send only the deserving athletes,” he added.
The country sent 153 athletes in the 2009 Laos edition and went home with 38 gold medals and a fifth place ranking. In 2007 in Thailand, the 620 national bets came up with just 41 golds and wound up sixth overall.
Like in Thailand, the Indonesia edition will have a full calendar of 44 sports with the Philippines seeing action in 38 events.
SEAG chief of mission Chito Loyzaga said he will welcome inputs from Puentevella regarding the delegation size to the biennial Games in November.
Loyzaga, who is also a PSC commissioner, said Puentevella, a former Bacolod congressman, can express his concerns during joint meetings of the POC and PSC SEAG working groups.
The working groups headed by Loyzaga and canoe-kayak chief Sim Chi Tat have already started evaluating the endorsements by the 38 participating national sports associations.