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No bubble training, no SEAGames

NO SEAG TRAINING YET. No bubble training yet for these athletes, the four major awardees in the 2019 KISLAP awards. Jean Claude Saclag (left) has started their bubble training as early as May at the Benguet State University and Team Lakay gym, while Divine Wally (2nd right) trains on her own for the meantime awaiting start of bubble training most probably in Manila, while Jearome Calica has been out from the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines since his golden performance in Muay Thai Waikru in the last SEAG. Nesthy Petecio, right, is in Tokyo, Japan for the Olympics where she advanced to the quarterfinals of the women’s feather division after upsetting top ranked Lin Yu Ting in the round of 16 Monday. Pigeon Lobien

There are no bubble trainings in the city that should have started this month and until October with a last push in Manila before departing for Hanoi, Vietnam for the November Southeast Asian Games.

“Kanya kanya munang training (Everybody will train on their own),” said 2019 SEAG kurash gold medal winner Esthie Gay Liwanen, who is now in Manila for her trainings.

The Kurash national team was supposed to train in Baguio starting this month but a surge in Covid-19 cases in the Vietnam capital and SEA countries prompted the SEAG committee to move the event to June 2022 instead of the November 21 – December 2 schedule.

“Tuloy ladta ti self training (We continue with our self training),” said wushu taolu’s Daniel Parantac. The multi-medal winner leads the almost daily grind with his teammates, Thornton Lou Sayan and Jones Inso with young aspiring athletes, at the Baguio athletic bowl, aside from giving pointers to elderlies at the Rose Garden who took up taichi.

“There is no word yet from our federation (Philippine Wushu Federation) but we still continue to train on our own,” said the three-time SEAG participant.

It was Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino who made the announcement earlier this month that the SEA Games Federation unanimously decided on the postponement of the biennial event.

“We’re united in the decision,” Tolentino earlier said.

The region is hard hit by the pandemic with Indonesia having the most number with more than 3.19 million cases and the Philippines coming in second with more than 1.54 million cases.

Host Vietnam, when it announced the postponement in July 8, had 23,385 reported cases with 105 deaths. The cases in Vietnam, which was widely hailed last year for its response to the pandemic, saw the number rise to 101,173 as of this writing.

Athletes were unable to train last year and it was only at the start of this year that training was resumed. Some of them received clearance to train at the Inspire Sports Academy, however, it was only those seeking slots for the Olympics.

Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the chef-de-mission to the SEA Games, was here in May to negotiate with the city government a training bubble for some sports, among which were athletics, boxing and martial arts sports. These as the PSC for the lack of budget sought to partner with local government units in creating a “bubble” environment for athletes to train.

The Philippines hosted the 2019 SEA Games and emerged as overall champions after winning a record 149 gold medals.

Vietnam, which hosted the event in 2003 has allocated a budget of around $69 million for the Games.

The SEAG is expected to attract nearly 20,000 participants, including about 7,000 athletes, from 11 countries, according to state media.

Apart from Olympic disciplines, other disciplines included are billiards and snooker, bodybuilding, chess, bowling and kurash, an ancient form of Uzbek wrestling.

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