Elusive Olympic gold medal may finally come for PH

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — The Philippines has long been starved of a gold medal in the Olympics, but the drought may soon come to an end thanks to better training facilities for Filipino athletes.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon said new and world-class sports facilities under construction at the New Clark City could be the key for better-trained and more inspired athletes.

"We’ve demanded so much from our athletes to train and to give all they have to get us that elusive medal in the Olympics and in other international sporting events. But the problem is government hasn’t really given the support that our athletes desperately need," Dizon told CNN Philippines' The Source.

A sprawling sports complex is set to be completed by August, two months ahead of the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. An athletics stadium for all major events and an aquatic center for water competitions will be opened for trainings, with a 500-bed athletes' village right across.

The New Clark City Sports Complex is the first major athletes' training center to be built in the country since 1934, but Dizon said the Philippines is merely playing catch-up compared to the rest of the world.

"When we benchmarked all over the world to build these facilities, we saw how other countries invest so much for their athletes. They have sports facilities, they have schools, they have all the support. Our athletes have none of that, have very little," Dizon said.

With the new facilities underway, it could be the one big push which these athletes are looking for.

"I think this will inspire our athletes to perform even better, and with this I think we’ll see our first gold medal or our first medal haul in the Olympics or in world championships very soon," Dizon added.

The Philippines has brought home three silver and seven gold medals from the Summer Olympic Games since it started joining in 1924. The three silvers came from boxers Anthony Villanueva in 164 and Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco in 1996, followed by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz a decade later.

READ: Olympian Hidilyn Diaz asking for financial support for Tokyo 2020 quest

Diaz will again compete for the weightlifting event in next year's Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan.