TAGAYTAY CITY—Philippine Olympic Committee president and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino opened the door to more Filipino athletes joining the Hangzhou Asian Games, but have not met the qualifying standards, provided they can self-fund their trips.
Tolentino announced this following their hosting of the Asian Games Fun Run at the Kaybagal South District here on Monday.
“Yes, they (the national sports association) can send, just like cycling, my own NSA,” said Tolentino after he welcomed representatives from the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee and Olympic Council of Asia during the early morning ceremonies.
Tolentino said these unqualified athletes can compete under the Group B banner and will still be provided with uniforms by the Philippine Sports Commission.
The POC chief explained that he aims to set an example with his own NSA, PhilCycling, by sending riders who have not made the criteria to the cycling events in the Asiad.
The criteria set for the Asiad is that gold and silver medal winners in the recent Cambodia Southeast Asian Games can go and get support from the PSC.
And cycling, according to Tolentino, was able to produce a silver and three bronze medals.
The silver medal came from Arianna Evangelista in the women’s mountain bike category, to go with a bronze medal she earned in the team’s mixed cross country relay.
Meanwhile, games’ officials said the COVID-19 situation is Hangzhou is now under control and there will be no more restrictions for the delegations that will go there when the games are held from September 23 to October 8.
“There’s no more restrictions whatsoever. It is now safe, and Hangzhou is now open. One year ago, the OCA made a decision to postpone the games. What we see today made it the most correct and most wise that has been made,” said OCA spokesman Jeans Zhou Jian, director for media and broadcast.
OCA Projects and Operations Manager Wissam Trkmani of Lebanon was also around with HAGOC HR Director Chen Qiufang, who added that the Hangzhou Games will be different because of the innovations and the creativity that organizers are offering.