By REY C. LACHICA
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President and Tagaytay Rep. Bambol Tolentino, one of the architects behind the country’s recordbreaking championship run in the justconcluded 30th Southeast Asian Games, is going to be a busy man – again – next year.
That’s because the Philippine cycling supremo intends to lobby stronly for sports that greatly helped the country in winning the overall title – collecting 149 golds, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes.
The title win was worth all the sacrifices for Team Tolentino which spent longer hours in the boardroom in coming up with a winning formula – staging 529 events in 56 sports.
“In the end, 56 sports allowed us to make the impossible possible – winning the overall championship of the 30th SEA Games,” said Tolentino.
To some jaded observers, it was considered a massive coup.
And he’s willing to do it again for country’s sake, knowing full well that Vietnam will do whatever it takes to capture the overall championship.
“It’s going to be a busy 2020 for me cause I have to lobby for sports where we can deliver,” said Tolentino, whose vast experience as chief executive of Tagaytay City has aided him during boardroom battle.
“I knew that the best way to emerge overall champion is to use this formula. And now, we all know that it worked,” he said.
Among the sports that delivered big during the 12-day sports spectacle were arnis with 14 golds, followed by dancesport (10), obstacle course (6) and kickboxing.
Tolentino, however, stressed that even without those events, the country will still emerge champion thanks to impressive showing in athletics (9), taekwondo (8), boxing (7), wushu (7) and skateboarding (6)
This early, Vietnam is planning to include sports that are alien to Filipino fans like
vovinam, finswimming and shuttlecock.
Vovinam is a form of Vietnamese martials arts that was founded in 1939 while shuttlecock is a cross between badminton and volleyball.
It is a variation of the traditional swimming defined in Wikipedia as an underwatersport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water’s surface using a snorkel with either monofins or bifins.
Despite absence of those events did not Vietnam from finishing second overall with 98-85-105 tally.
But here’s the good news: Tolentino plans to give Filipino athletes all medal winners – something to cheer about for what they aptly called SEA Games to remember.