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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 11, 2019
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Sports officials urged
to unite for 2019 SEAG


Stop bickering and start thinking of the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), which the country will host this year.

This was the advice of taekwondo Olympian Monsour del Rosario as he urged fellow sports officials and athletes to set aside their differences and work together to ensure the country’s success in the biennial competition scheduled in Manila, Subic and Clark on November 30 to December 11.

“The Filipino athletes are talented enough to be the best in Southeast Asia, but we still have a lot of work to do to win the gold medals,” the 1988 Seoul Olympics veteran told Manila reporters.

“As host nation, we have to do our best to win as many gold medals as possible,” added del Rosario, who bagged several medals for the country in the SEA Games, Asian Games, and World Championships from 1982 to 1989.

The 53-year-old taekwondo champion said he hopes to duplicate, if not surpass, the country’s historic 19th-place finish at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Turkmenistan where he also served as chef de mission. The Philippines bagged two golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes while competing in 17 of 21 sports.

“In the AIMAG, I was given a free hand to call the shots for the 105-strong Filipino delegation. Like a war general, I planned the strategy for the team, worked with the coaches and athletes and even stayed with them at the Athletes Village. It worked to perfection,” explained del Rosario, also known in the sports circle as "Mr. Taekwondo".

The athlete-turned-public servant from Makati hopes to get the same support from both the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in the coming SEA Games “not only to make his job easier but boost the Filipinos’ chances of winning.”

Del Rosario revealed that he has already recommended long-time friend and taekwondo champion Stephen Fernandez, former national rugby player Ada Milby and Netball Philippines president Charlie Ho to join him as deputy chef de mission.

“I think the POC Board has already approved my recommendation to add Stephen (Fernandez) and Charlie (Ho),” del Rosario said. The POC has yet to decide on Milby, the first female member of the World Rugby Council and younger sister of actor Sam Milby.

“With some events to be held in Subic and Clark, I need these three officials to work with me in the SEA Games. I know both Stephen and Charlie personally, while I heard that Ada is a hardworking, result-oriented individual during her time as player of the national rugby team,” he said.*PNA


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