The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is eyeing to set up a training camp in Australia or China as part of the Filipino tracksters’ build up for this year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
PATAFA Secretary General Reynato Unso said the association is hopeful that the Philippine Sports Commissioner (PSC) will approve its request to train abroad for the 29th edition of the biennial meet.
“We never had problems with the PSC regarding the budget. So, we’re hoping that it is released in time while the competition season in Australia is still on,” said Unso on Tuesday during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
According to Unso, the 12 chosen athletes will undergo intensive training in Australia or China.
“If there’s no delay in the release of budget they will train in Australia. But if there will be delays in the release, we might send them to China, instead,” he added.
PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico is also hoping for the best, saying the overseas training will serve as a vital role in the country’s bid to figure well in the biennial meet.
Expected to lead the country’s campaign in Malaysia are 2015 SEAG winners Eric Cray (100m and 400m hurdles), Caleb Stuart (hammer throw), Kayla Richardson (100m) and Christopher Ulboc (3000m steeplechase), along with potential medallists EJ Obiena (pole vault), Marestella Torres (long jump), Harry Diones (triple jump), Trentan Beram (400m), Mervin Guarte (800m), Patrick Unso (low hurdles), Mary Joy Tabal (marathon) and the men’s 4×400 team.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID