EVEN as the Tokyo Olympics and other major international sports events continue to battle uncertainty due to the surge in the coronavirus cases in many parts of the world, Go for Gold will keep its commitment to the Filipino athletes.
Well-known sports patron Jeremy Randell Go of Powerball Marketing Logistics Corporation said Go for Gold will continue their support to the athletes despite the many challenges this year.
“With the coronavirus pandemic, anything can happen. But Go for Gold”s support to our athletes vying in the Tokyo Oympics and other sporting events will continue this year,” said Go during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Jan. 14.
Go admitted the surge in coronavirus cases in most countries is affecting the training of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and other major competitions.
“It’s a little early for our athletes to have a concrete training program because everything is changing. Almost every month may mga bagong strain na lumalabas. We can only encourage our athletes to continue to train either at home or inside a bubble like the one by the PSC,” added Go during the weekly forum sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“Right now, we are regularly in touch with our athletes, pati na yun mga NSAs (national sports associations) na sinusuportahan namin. We told them na sabihin kung ano ang mga kailangan sa training nila. Kapag may vaccine na, pwede na uli mag-training at mag-compete,” he explained.
“As what PSC Commissioner Mon Fernandez said, we still have to prepare our athletes with the Tokyo Olympics and SEA Games coming. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ang training.”
Go said skateboard champion Margielyn Didal remains as Go for Gold’s best bet in the Tokyo Olympics.
“As you all know, matagal na din kaming supporter ni Margielyn at ng Philippine skateboarding. Sa SEA Games, hindi pa sure kung ano ang mga NSAs na may qualifiers sa Vietnam. We’re not sure kung sino ang mga athletes who will go there. But I believe around 20-30 athletes na sinusuportahan namin will go to Vietnam.”
Go also expressed confidence that the Filipino athletes, especially the Go for Gold-supported national cyclists, will be able to perform well in international competitions despite limited training and exposure.
“I’m fairly confident that our cycling team, led by Ronnel Hualda, will be ready come the time. I have seen their trainings, including virtual and smart trainings. We have close to a year or 10 months to prepare,” explained Go.
“Last year, we were supposed to go to Thailand for the Tour of Thailand, which was pinayagan nila. Unfortunately, we could not get a flight to Thailand during this time. Very strict ang quarantine and it was very difficult to find a flight there but they did invite us to go there.”
Added Go: “Nakapag-usap na din kami ni (POC president) Cong. Bambol Tolentino during the Philcycling meeting. But as mentioned by Ronnel, one issue is that some of our cyclists are also members of the Armed Forces. So medyo mahirap sila i-pull out for training, dahil alam naman natin na ang priority is to combat the virus.”
Go for Gold will also continue to support IM John Marvin Miciano and his bid to become the country’s newest chess grandmaster.
“Last year, I was told that Marvin will now be playing in the country’s first professional chess league. His father said he will be one of the top players of his team (Manila Indios Bravos). It is good because his talent is being recognized at a very young age,” said Go.
“We are fully supporting him in his quest to become a grandmaster, the potential first from Davao, and possibly one of the youngest ever from the Philippines.”
“We will continue to support him, lalo sa mga kailangan nya,” added Go.
“Normally we work with the athletes and NSAs if they have requirements that are outside PSC and POC funding. We believe in working together with these agencies and NSAs. Maaaring may support na sila, but they need additional assistance. Doon kami tumutulong, like in the case of Marvin,” he added.
“Last year, Marvin had to do a lot of online training with his coach in Hungary because of the pandemic. We help with some of our expenses in the training.”
Also present during the weekly public service progam by TOPS and shown on Facebook Live and YouTube are PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Philippine Tournament Bridge Association president Winston Arpon and Hualda.