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POC looking to host Asian indoor and beach games

By: June Navarro - Philippine Daily Inquirer | June 12,2020 - 07:33 AM

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the Philippines will bid to host the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (Aimag) and Asian Beach Games on local turf after missing the deadline to submit a bid for the 2030 Asian Games.

“We will definitely make a bid in these Games. Sports is a unifying force for the country as we had seen in our SEA Games hosting,’’ Tolentino said.

The Cavite representative and PhilCycling president said the country will aim for the 2024 Asian Beach Games and 2025 Aimag. The POC missed the deadline for submission of Asian Games bid in April.

“To be honest, hosting the Asian Games is a lot more difficult. We prefer to host a less challenging version like the Aimag and Asian Beach Games,” Tolentino said.

Hangzhou, China, has secured the 2022 edition of the Asian Games while the 45-nation Asiad will journey to Nagoya, Japan, in 2026.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the chief organizer of the Asian Games, opened the bidding for 2030 early this year before the global coronavirus pandemic struck.

The POC under Tolentino and the Philippine Sports Commission under Chair William “Butch” Ramirez spearheaded the government’s efforts for a successful staging of the SEA Games late last year.

It was the biggest iteration of the 11-nation in history in terms of events, with 56 sports calendared.

Filipino athletes likewise ruled the biennial sportsfest after collecting 149 gold medals, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes.

There’s no word yet from OCA and China organizers if this year’s Asian Beach Games slated on Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 in Sanya City will proceed as scheduled.

“I’m certain that strict protocols will be in place once it pushes through,” Tolentino said.

Next year’s Aimag will be held in Bangkok and Chonburi in Thailand from May 21 to 30.

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