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SPORTS NEWS THE PAST WEEKS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

PACQUIAO TO PSC: NURTURE OUR ATHLETES' TALENTS; END CORRUPTION


AUGUST 17 -Pacquiao, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, asked PSC Commissioner William “Butch” Ramirez to present the agency’s grassroots sports program and suggested ways to enhance it such as training athletes at a young age. (Photo from Pacquiao's official Facebook page) On his first committee hearing as Chairman, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Tuesday urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to nurture the talents of Filipino athletes and end corruption within the committee. Pacquiao, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, asked PSC Commissioner William “Butch” Ramirez to present the agency’s grassroots sports program and suggested ways to enhance it such as training athletes at a young age. “If there is talent there, nurture him. After he graduates from school, continue nurturing him. When the time comes, we will be collecting medals,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.) Ramirez for his part reiterated his plan to create a masterplan that will allow the committee to build more sports training facilities and provide athletes with the best coaches, dieticians and physicians. He said that he targeted the completion of the masterplan before September. The boxer-senator meanwhile urged Ramirez to put an end to corrupt practices within the committee, especially if it would directly affect the athletes. Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara for his part, urged the committee to establish a Philippine sports museum to exhibit significant achievements of legendary Filipino athletes. READ MORE...

ALSO: PSC to double funding for 2020 Tokyo gold bid
[RELATED:
PSC bares plan to construct multi-billion peso 'Philippine Olympic City' at Clark]

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) yesterday vowed to increase the agency’s financial support to national sports associations bidding to win the country’s first gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez yesterday said he is optimistic that a golden finish in the Summer Games is finally within reach following the impressive silver medal performance by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recently.The PSC chief said the NSAs must present their roadmaps towards achieving that elusive first Olympic gold.He, however, didn’t identify which sports association would qualifty for the financial support. Ramirez said Diaz remains the PSC’s top priority after winning the silver medal in the Rio Olympics. “We will double the budget of Olympic hopefuls. Expect that our policies would be a little different this time as we prioritize athletes competing in the Olympics, then Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games,” Ramirez said. FULL REPORT, RELATED, PSC bares plan to construct multi-billion peso 'Philippine Olympic City' at Clark...

ALSO:
Olympic flag arrives in Tokyo, host of next Summer Games


AUGUST 24 -Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike holds the Olympic flag on the stairways of a plane upon arrival at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. The Olympic flag arrived in Tokyo, host of the next 2020 Summer Games. | AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko TOKYO — The Olympic flag has arrived in Tokyo, host of the next Summer Games. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike held the flag aloft as she got off an All Nippon Airways plane and walked down a stairway to the tarmac at Tokyo's Haneda airport Wednesday. Koike received the flag at Sunday's closing ceremonies of the Rio Games from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Preparations are underway for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Construction of the main stadium is slated to start toward the end of this year. Japan's capital also hosted the Olympics in 1964. Koike is a newly elected governor of Tokyo who has pledged to examine the spiraling costs to avoid saddling taxpayers with debt and building white elephants. FULL REPORT

ALSO: Silver medalist Diaz gets free flights for 5 years from airline firm
[RELATED: Hidilyn Diaz gets congressional medal, P1.5M from solons]


AUGUST 24 -Hidilyn Diaz, who won Silver in the women's 53-kg Weightlifting in the Rio Olympics displays her medal shortly upon arrival Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. | AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
The perks continue to flow for Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz. This after AirAsia, a budget airline company, announced it is giving free flights to Asean athletes who won medals in the recent 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company said Asean gold medalists will enjoy free flights for life, while those who bagged silver and bronze medals will get free trips for five and two years, respectively. “I was blown away by the performances from Asean athletes,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement. “They proved we can achieve anything as long as we believe in ourselves and work tirelessly towards our dream. This is the least we could do for them,” he added. The 25-year-old Diaz became the first Filipina Olympic medalist after her podium finish in the women’s 53kg weightlifting in the quadrennial sports meet. Her performance ended the Philippines’ 20-year medal Olympic medal drought. READ MORE...RELATED, Hidilyn Diaz gets congressional medal, P1.5M from solons....

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Onward to Tokyo


AUGUST 28 -A projection onto the playing field announces the Tokyo 2020 Winter Olympic Games during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG
With the Rio Olympics over and done with, it’s high time thoughts of Tokyo drifted into the consciousness of Philippine sports officials so they can think in earnest of preparations for the next edition of the Summer Games. Four years is too short a time to build a medal contender from scratch, but delaying the process to bask in Hidilyn Diaz’s silver-medal glory is wasting precious time. Diaz’s historic Olympic moment should be celebrated by the weightlifter, her team, her family, and, yes, long-suffering Filipino sports fans now able to heave a sigh of relief at her feat. For sports officials, the work to ensure that the Philippines doesn’t slip back to an empty haul in Tokyo should begin. And it begins with Diaz. The Philippine Sports Commission has taken the early initiative to plot Diaz’s route to more Olympic glory. It promises to surround the petite athlete with an able and regular support system that includes a coach, a nutritionist and a conditioning trainer who will keep her in shape and in sharp form for the next four years. The PSC wants this team to be with her at every international competition she will take part in on the road to Tokyo.
The PSC has thrown in a caveat: This team will be available to Diaz as long as she resists the lure of show biz. That her newfound fame and fortune will result in talent managers making a beeline for her camp is predictable and not without basis. Before her, after all, the last Filipino athlete to win an Olympic medal was boxer Onyok Velasco, who bagged a silver in Atlanta 1996. Velasco’s sudden fame eventually led to a show biz career, and he quit boxing altogether. But the mission to ensure triumph in Tokyo doesn’t have to end with Diaz. For years Philippine sports officials have failed to come up with a credible sporting program that begins with talent identification at the grassroots and ends with elite performers who can hold their own on the world stage. Diaz’s case is a rare one, and even then shortsighted officials couldn’t see the potential in her and nearly ran her off the sport with their apathy and ignorance. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Pacquiao to PSC: Nurture our athletes’ talents; end corruption


Pacquiao, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, asked PSC Commissioner William “Butch” Ramirez to present the agency’s grassroots sports program and suggested ways to enhance it such as training athletes at a young age. (Photo from Pacquiao's official Facebook page)
 

MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2016 (INQUIRER) By Azer Parrocha, Philippines News Agency on August 17, 2016 - On his first committee hearing as Chairman, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Tuesday urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to nurture the talents of Filipino athletes and end corruption within the committee.

Pacquiao, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, asked PSC Commissioner William “Butch” Ramirez to present the agency’s grassroots sports program and suggested ways to enhance it such as training athletes at a young age.

“If there is talent there, nurture him. After he graduates from school, continue nurturing him. When the time comes, we will be collecting medals,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.)

Ramirez for his part reiterated his plan to create a masterplan that will allow the committee to build more sports training facilities and provide athletes with the best coaches, dieticians and physicians.

He said that he targeted the completion of the masterplan before September.

The boxer-senator meanwhile urged Ramirez to put an end to corrupt practices within the committee, especially if it would directly affect the athletes.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara for his part, urged the committee to establish a Philippine sports museum to exhibit significant achievements of legendary Filipino athletes.

READ MORE...

“Our generation knows the story of Hidilyn Diaz but in 20 years’ time, future generations might forget it,” Angara referring to the Olympian silver-medalist weightlifter.

“We should institute a sports museum so that Hidilyn and other legendary Filipino athletes will not be forgotten,” the senator, who is also vice chair to the Committee on Sports, added.

Also present during the hearing, Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian mentioned how it was a “rare opportunity” that senate chairman on sports is from the grassroots.

He meanwhile urged the PSC to “get their acts together” especially now that a sports champion is in the senate.


TRIBUNE

PSC to double funding for 2020 gold bid Written by Julius Manicad Thursday, 25 August 2016 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print Be the first to comment!
TOKYO CAMPAIGN

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) yesterday vowed to increase the agency’s financial support to national sports associations bidding to win the country’s first gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez yesterday said he is optimistic that a golden finish in the Summer Games is finally within reach following the impressive silver medal performance by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recently.

The PSC chief said the NSAs must present their roadmaps towards achieving that elusive first Olympic gold.
He, however, didn’t identify which sports association would qualifty for the financial support.

Ramirez said Diaz remains the PSC’s top priority after winning the silver medal in the Rio Olympics.

“We will double the budget of Olympic hopefuls. Expect that our policies would be a little different this time as we prioritize athletes competing in the Olympics, then Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games,” Ramirez said.

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM SPIN.PH

PSC bares plan to construct multi-billion peso 'Philippine Olympic City' at Clark
From: Snow BaduaAugust 19, 2016, 04:48 pm


PSC chairman Butch Ramirez says the all-in-one complex will house national athletes and provide sports facilities that could serve as the main venue when the country hosts the Southeast Asian Games in 2019. Snow Badua

IN a bid to sustain the gains of Hidilyn Diaz's historic silver-medal performance in the Rio Olympics, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has bared plans to construct a multi-billion peso ‘Philippine Olympic City’ at the Clark Green City in Clark Field, Pampanga.

PSC chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez bared the sports hub will be one of the future main attractions at Clark Field - an all-in-one complex that will house national athletes and provide sports facilities that could serve as the main venue when the country again hosts the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

“It will be an all in one place, we will house our athletes there, we will train them there and it will be the realization of the longtime dream of finally having a worthy sports facility for Filipino athletes,” said Ramirez.

The soft-spoken former campaign manager of President Duterte said the plan was broached after an impromptu breakfast meeting on Thursday with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who happens to be with officials of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) led by its president Vince Dizon.

“Actually, it was just an accident, although we admit, this plan has already been in existence for the past administrations, kaso nagkataon nakausap namin ang BCDA officials with the executive secretary and it happens, gusto nga raw nila magkaruon ng ganun,” he said.

“Ang maganda kasi rito is magiging part and parcel ng development ng Clark Green City ang athletes’ hub, kasi magiging part ito ng sports tourism attraction sa lugar,” added Ramirez.

Ramirez hopes that come 2018, the sports complex which he estimates will cost between P3 to P6 billion and which will be built by the BCDA, will be inaugurated.

“Hopefully by that time merun na, so dito na rin natin dadalhin at gaganapin ang SEA Games hosting natin, hindi na tulad dati na may Bacolod, Manila at Cebu. Ang maganda pa sa sports hub na 'yan na gagawin is it is only 15 minutes away from the Clark International Airport,” he said.

Asked what will happen to the century-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Ramirez replied: “Bahala na ang may hawak ng rights nito. Basta we will transfer all our facilities there, masyado nang congested ang Metro Manila."

Meanwhile, Ramirez bared that the recent silver medal feat of Diaz in the last Rio De Janeiro Olympics was instrumental in the fast tracking of the new sports hub.

“We need to sustain this, we want to prove that after Hidilyn’s success, we Filipinos can again win in international meets. Hindi pwedeng isang medal ngayon sa Olympics, then 20 years ulit ang kasunod,” he said.

“I will already bring the proposal to the President for approval, anyway, I feel that this is the missing link to Philippine sports’ master plan and he will like this. The executive secretary is already amenable to it,” added Ramirez, who is in his second term as PSC chairman.

Aside from providing state-of-the-art sports facilities, the PSC is also looking to send Filipino athletes and coaches abroad for training.

“Hindi na tayo tulad ng dati na magpapapunta ng foreign coach dito, tayo na magpapadala dun,” he said.

As for Diaz, Ramirez bared that the 23-year-old weightlifter has already committed to again represent the Philippines to the coming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“She said gusto niya, so aalagaan na namin to. Hindi na nga siya naka dorm ngayon eh, kasi baka magkasakit. This is the same plan we have for our other elite athletes,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua


PHILSTAR

Olympic flag arrives in Tokyo, host of next Summer Games (Associated Press) | Updated August 24, 2016 - 11:40am 1 35 googleplus0 0


Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike holds the Olympic flag on the stairways of a plane upon arrival at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. The Olympic flag arrived in Tokyo, host of the next 2020 Summer Games. | AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO — The Olympic flag has arrived in Tokyo, host of the next Summer Games.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike held the flag aloft as she got off an All Nippon Airways plane and walked down a stairway to the tarmac at Tokyo's Haneda airport Wednesday.

Koike received the flag at Sunday's closing ceremonies of the Rio Games from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

Preparations are underway for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Construction of the main stadium is slated to start toward the end of this year. Japan's capital also hosted the Olympics in 1964.

Koike is a newly elected governor of Tokyo who has pledged to examine the spiraling costs to avoid saddling taxpayers with debt and building white elephants.


PHILSTAR

Hidilyn Diaz gets free flights for 5 years from airline firm By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated August 24, 2016 - 1:22pm 10 1241 googleplus0 0


Hidilyn Diaz, who won Silver in the women's 53-kg Weightlifting in the Rio Olympics displays her medal shortly upon arrival Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. | AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – The perks continue to flow for Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

This after AirAsia, a budget airline company, announced it is giving free flights to Asean athletes who won medals in the recent 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The company said Asean gold medalists will enjoy free flights for life, while those who bagged silver and bronze medals will get free trips for five and two years, respectively.

“I was blown away by the performances from Asean athletes,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

“They proved we can achieve anything as long as we believe in ourselves and work tirelessly towards our dream. This is the least we could do for them,” he added.

The 25-year-old Diaz became the first Filipina Olympic medalist after her podium finish in the women’s 53kg weightlifting in the quadrennial sports meet. Her performance ended the Philippines’ 20-year medal Olympic medal drought.

READ MORE...

In achieving the feat, Diaz received P5 million from the government as mandated by the law. President Duterte sweetened the pot by handing out an additional P2 million.

Additionally, Diaz received an undisclosed amount from Sen. Manny Pacquiao when she visited the Senate recently.

Now, AirAsia said she will be able to fly to more than 120 destinations within the company’s network in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.


INQUIRER

Hidilyn Diaz gets congressional medal, P1.5M from solons By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab
@MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 07:03 PM August 24th, 2016


Hidilyn Diaz, who won the Silver in the women’s 53-kg Weightlifting of the Rio Olympics waves as she is applauded by her countrymen shortly upon arrival Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. The Olympic medal was the highest and the first for the Philippines in 20 years.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

FILIPINO Olympian Hidilyn Diaz on Wednesday received a congressional medal of distinction and a P1.5-million incentive from the House of Representatives to commend her for the podium finish in the weightlifting competition of the Rio Olympics.

In his speech commending the Olympic medalist, Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat said lawmakers pooled together a “substantial” monetary award for Diaz ” as a sign of our appreciation and recognition of your outstanding performance.”

Diaz is a native of Zamboanga City.

READ MORE...

During the session on Wednesday evening, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez conferred the congressional medal of distinction on Diaz, after the House adopted its Resolution No. 9 conferring such a medal to the weightlifter.

He also handed over to Diaz the P1.5-million cash incentive donated by the lawmakers from their salaries.

RELATED: House to commend, give Filipino Olympian Diaz incentive

Diaz won the silver medal in the women’s 53-kilogram weightlifting competition at the Rio Olympics, making her the first Filipino woman to win an Olympics honor since boxer Onyok Velasco won a silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

READ: Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins silver in Rio

Diaz had also visited the Senate to receive the commendation for her podium finish.

READ: Senate fetes Hidilyn for Olympic silver


INQUIRER EDITORIAL

Onward to Tokyo VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:28 AM August 28th, 2016


A projection onto the playing field announces the Tokyo 2020 Winter Olympic Games during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG

A projection onto the playing field announces the Tokyo 2020 Winter Olympic Games during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG

With the Rio Olympics over and done with, it’s high time thoughts of Tokyo drifted into the consciousness of Philippine sports officials so they can think in earnest of preparations for the next edition of the Summer Games.

Four years is too short a time to build a medal contender from scratch, but delaying the process to bask in Hidilyn Diaz’s silver-medal glory is wasting precious time. Diaz’s historic Olympic moment should be celebrated by the weightlifter, her team, her family, and, yes, long-suffering Filipino sports fans now able to heave a sigh of relief at her feat.

For sports officials, the work to ensure that the Philippines doesn’t slip back to an empty haul in Tokyo should begin. And it begins with Diaz.

The Philippine Sports Commission has taken the early initiative to plot Diaz’s route to more Olympic glory. It promises to surround the petite athlete with an able and regular support system that includes a coach, a nutritionist and a conditioning trainer who will keep her in shape and in sharp form for the next four years. The PSC wants this team to be with her at every international competition she will take part in on the road to Tokyo.

The PSC has thrown in a caveat: This team will be available to Diaz as long as she resists the lure of show biz. That her newfound fame and fortune will result in talent managers making a beeline for her camp is predictable and not without basis. Before her, after all, the last Filipino athlete to win an Olympic medal was boxer Onyok Velasco, who bagged a silver in Atlanta 1996. Velasco’s sudden fame eventually led to a show biz career, and he quit boxing altogether.

But the mission to ensure triumph in Tokyo doesn’t have to end with Diaz. For years Philippine sports officials have failed to come up with a credible sporting program that begins with talent identification at the grassroots and ends with elite performers who can hold their own on the world stage. Diaz’s case is a rare one, and even then shortsighted officials couldn’t see the potential in her and nearly ran her off the sport with their apathy and ignorance.

READ MORE...

Diaz has begun seeding talents for her sport by laying the foundation for a weightlifting academy that she will personally oversee. Marestella Torres-Sunang, whose long jump career has reached its end, also announced plans to personally train jumpers.

In fact it is sports leaders who should be undertaking these two women’s initiatives. And they should desist from cooking up programs that serve to mask their mediocrity. There should be a constant scrutiny of the internal processes conducted in the development of these programs. Boxing provides an apt cautionary tale.

The national boxing association had a seemingly solid program that began with national championships and ended with two slots to Rio. Boxing was touted as the Philippines’ best medal hope, but it came up empty. What happened? At what point in the blueprint did the process fail the program? These questions should be answered so that the roadmap to Tokyo can be firmed up as soon as possible.

Countries with smaller populations than ours have won gold medals in the Olympics. Our Southeast Asian neighbors managed to snap gold droughts in Rio. A perfect example is Singapore, which invested in sports in which it is traditionally competitive and was rewarded with its first Olympic gold courtesy of swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Our sports leaders should look to do the same. The inordinate passion for basketball, or the rekindled love affair with volleyball, or even the niche fascination of football should not preclude support for other sports. Having private sponsors pour money into these sports, which will never produce an Olympic gold for the Philippines in the next lifetime or four, will free the national sports budget to focus on sports that can bring home the bacon.

It starts with Diaz. A medal in Tokyo will make her the most successful Filipino Olympian in history—a possibility that should not be lost on sports officials.

But it doesn’t end with her. There are Olympic-caliber talents out there waiting to be found. Sports officials should provide the search infrastructure. A doable, realistic, exhaustive and inclusive program should flush those talents into the open. And that program can only be crafted and run if our officials finally do away with the preening and turf-marking politics that has long shackled Philippine sports.

Rio is done. It’s time to begin the work for Tokyo.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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