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POC president: SEA Games mishaps exaggerated

POC president: SEA Games mishaps exaggerated

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Wednesday he is puzzled why some have been supposedly exaggerating the mishaps in the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

“It’s baffling that minor lapses were made to look like big issues, instead of giving our support for the athletes and for the country. These are happening not only in the Philippines but in other countries hosting major events,” he said in an interview with radio station Radyo Inquirer.

Tolentino, also the representative of the 8th District of Cavite, said a number of glitches that inconvenienced foreign athletes since their arrival in the country for the games was only “normal”, especially since a “historical” 56 sports were included in the sports meet.

“All of these have been addressed and it’s good these were already given attention,” he said.

Tolentino also hailed the country for hosting this year’s SEA Games with just a P7.5-billion ($147.5 million) budget.

In other countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, he said the budget was almost double even if there were only 30 to 45 sports included in the games.

He then called on the public to be united with organising committees and to be proud of how the country hosts big events.

“We are calling on the people to be united.

“This only happens seldom, only in over 10 years.

“Let’s not only win as one, [but let us also] stand as one.

“Let us be proud of how we host events. Let us not [criticise] just because we don’t have anything else to do, or say things that would bring us down. Let us talk about our shortcomings later,” said the POC president.

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

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