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Gold winners to get additional P1 million as PH eyes bigger haul in Asian Games

MANILA, Philippines, September 23 ------ Filipino athletes competing in the Asian Games have a million more reasons to win a gold medal. Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino bared that gold medalists in the quadrennial showpiece set in Hangzhou, China, will get an extra P1 million in incentives. Individual gold medalists in the Asian Games are entitled to receive P2 million under Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act. But to further motivate the 396 athletes who will see action in the two-week meet that will run from September 23 to October 8, Tolentino said the POC will reward gold winners with an additional P1 million.

Tolentino wants to surpass the Philippines’ four-gold haul in 2018 edition in Jakarta, Indonesia, where the country finished 19th overall out of 45 participating nations. It will be an uphill climb, though, as Team Philippines misses the services of a couple of potential gold-medal contenders.

Star gymnast Carlos Yulo opted to skip the Asian Games to focus on the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Belgium, while golfer Yuka Saso one of the four gold medalists in 2018 – no longer represents the country. “It will be a big challenge for us. We’re still capable even if we’re missing other elite athletes who are in other competitions that coincide with the Asian Games,” Tolentino said during the athlete send-off at the PICC in Pasay. “I believe we can still do it.”

Arguably the Philippines’ strongest gold-medal bet, EJ Obiena leads the way for the contingent as he eyes a breakthrough Asian Games crown after a stellar outdoor season that saw him win medals in 15 of 16 meets. Obiena flies to Hangzhou fresh from a silver finish in the season-ending Diamond League Final in Eugene, USA, over the weekend. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, meanwhile, look to replicate their golden feats in Jakarta.



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