The struggle turns into action; Bodybuilders sent home


HANOI — With Noel Norada and Jason Baucas leading the way, the National Wrestling Team springs into action at Gia Lam District Sporting Hall on Tuesday, determined to mark their class in the 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games here despite lack of training due to pandemic.

Mr. Norada, 38, and Mr. Baucas, 24, are trying to retain the titles they won in 2019 at home when the national team earned a 2-10-1 gold-silver-bronze production, second overall behind Vietnam.

Mr Norada will defend his crown in the 63kg category of the Greco-Roman event while Mr Baucas will compete in the heaviest 77kg category, the 72kg category he won in the Philippines having been dropped by the hosts.

The other Pinoy bets competing in the Greco-Roman class of the three-day competition are Jason Balabal, Margarito Angana to Jefferson Manatad.

Noemi Tener, Minalyn Foy-os, Grace Loberanes and Jiah Pingot are chasing medals in the women’s freestyle class, while Alvin Lobreguito, Jhonny Morte, Joseph Angana and Elvis Julius will battle on the men’s side.

It could have been avoided.

Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino was lamenting the recent hubbub over the national bodybuilding team being sent home for failing to meet doping requirements at the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

“I did everything until the last minute,” Mr. Tolentino said. “But they invoke certain rules which could have been corrected if certain civil servants were really ‘working civil servants’.”

“Anyway, it’s a lesson learned,” he added.

Comprised of eight men and one woman, the team were not allowed to compete because they failed to submit the necessary doping tests which should have been carried out three weeks before the start of their event.

It was mentioned in the games manual that all participating athletes must submit doping and authorization certificates in order to participate.

Apparently Filipino bodybuilders didn’t.

In an article by Agence France-Presse, a news agency, the team was sad to learn that they could not participate and shoot for medals at the biennial meeting.

They vowed to make a big comeback at next year’s SEA Games edition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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