As long as it is related to the preparation of athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will continue to provide support at the bubble training camp in Calamba, Laguna.

PSC chief of staff Marc Velasco said the government sports agency is very much committed to support the athletes from boxing, karate and taekwondo inside the INSPIRE facility.

“That is the commitment of the PSC, to support our athletes” said Velasco in an interview Thursday with Manila Bulletin.

“As long as it’s related to the Tokyo Olympics, either they’re in the running for an Olympic spot or if they no longer have a qualifying meet but they have teammates with Olympic slots and they are helping them to get better, the PSC will continue to support.”

Velasco’s comments came a few days after boxing’s World Qualifiers for the Olympics was called off in Paris by the organizers due to health reasons with the rising case of COVID-19 in Europe.

There are a combined 16 male and female boxers inside the bubble, including Olympic-bound Irish Magno, as well as several that were supposed to join the now-cancelled OQT like Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam.

Because of their current world ranking in their respective divisions, Petecio and Paalam are likely to join fellow boxers Eumir Marcial and Magno in the Olympics.

“Even if there are no Olympic qualifiers, they still need to train. Not unless there is a definitive notice from the boxing task force that they need to stop, but if that is part of the ABAP program, training will continue,” said Velasco, also the national training director.

Meanwhile, a month after the athletes and coaches entered the training camp, Velasco said that there is no single case of COVID-19.

“The integrity is still intact. The athletes are in a perfect training environment. Although we still need to bring psychologists there, we still need to talk to athletes because it’s not apparent (emotional problem) when you look at them physically,” he said.

“We need to monitor the mental health of athletes and coaches while they are inside the bubble training camp.”

The PSC has agreed to hold a training camp in Laguna until April.

Source: Manila Bulletin (