Gold and silver medalists in the 32nd Southeast Asia Games in Cambodia are likely automatic members of Team Philippines to the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games, Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said yesterday.
The other criterion, Tolentino said, will be based on Asian and world rankings which are essential as the Asian Games are a qualifier for Paris 2024 and the Hangzhou results fall within the Olympic qualifying window which starts 1 June and lasts for a year.
“That’s a parameter, gold and silver medalists in Cambodia will be strongly considered for the national team to Hangzhou,” Tolentino said on Friday. “They’ll be funded under Group A classification. The rest will be in Group B, but they need to be evaluated.”
The POC has set a Group A classification for athletes who will be funded by the Philippine Sports Commission and Group B for those whose participation will be shouldered by their national sports associations.
The Philippines clinched 58 golds, 85 silvers and 117 bronzes for a total of 260 medals — a harvest that merited a fifth-place finish overall — in the SEA Games Cambodia hosted for the first time from 5 to 17 May.
But not all gold and silver medalists in Cambodia are eligible for Hangzhou because they were won in sports that are not in the Asian Games program.
China is hosting the Asia Games for the third time — after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010 — from 23 September to 8 October.
The Philippines won four gold, two silver and 15 bronze medals at the 2018 18th Asia Games in Jakarta and Palembang.