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Vargas wants overall SEAG crown


Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Victorico Vargas set the bar high immediately by announcing the overall championship should be the athletes' target when the country hosts the 30th Southeast Asian Games next year.

Vargas is expected to idenify the sports where Filipino athletes have potential to fuel the country’s championship run.
The last time the country won the overall crown was in 2005, when it hosted the biennial meet where it captured a total of 112 gold medals.
It was all downhill from there, though, as national athletes settled for sixth place in Thailand in 2007, fifth in Laos in 2009, sixth place in Indonesia in 2011, seventh in Myanmar in 2013, sixth in Singapore in 2015 and sixth place in Malaysia in 2017.
Vargas said now that the country will make its fourth hosting of the Games, it is a perfect opportunity to rally the athletes to winning their second overall crown.
“There are two parts: Great hosting and great results,” said Vargas during a press briefing shortly after formally taking over from Cojuangco, who ruled the Olympic council the past 13 years.
“The perfect setup is if we would be a great host yet we will accomplish a lot in the medal (tally).”
Vargas is also set to create a SEA Games Task Force that will sit down with national sports association (NSA) leaders to discuss, project and identify the events where the country has a good chance at winning.
Their findings will be forwarded to the SEA Games working group, headed by SEA Games organizing committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and Vargas.
A POC insider revealed that Vargas is set to come up with nominees to the working group as officials formerly endorsed by Cojuangco like Julian Camacho, Steve Hontiveros and Ricardo Garcia are set to vacate their positions.
The source added that SEA Games chief of mission Monsour del Rosario, who was also appointed by Cojuangco, was also asked to step down to give Vargas a free hand in choosing his preferred official.
The source, however, didn’t discount the possibility that del Rosario will still get to keep his position.
“That’s also possible,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “At this point, nothing is final. Let us trust the wisdom of the new POC president and give him a free hand to choose his preferred official in this very crucial position.”
“There’s a lot of work to be done. We’re already delayed, especially in our preparation for the SEA Games. That’s the more difficult task,” said POC chairman Abraham Tolentino.


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