‘More athletes to join Asiad Team’ — Romasanta

THE number of athletes for the Asian Games is most likely increase to as much as 250, according to Asiad Screening Committee chief Josey Romasanta.

Romasanta said the target number for the team delegation in the quadrennial meet slated Nov. 12-27 in Guangzhou, China could reach to maximum number of 250, provided both the men’s and women squad of dragon boat qualify.

Dragon boat was given provisional inclusion to the delegation.

Around 50 paddlers are going to be withdrawn from the roster if they failed their time trial set at the La Mesa Dam in Quezon City on Sept. 28.

“It’s a growing number,” said Romasanta, also the country’s chief of mission in the Asiad. “Until Sept. 30, there’s no final figure yet.”

During last Monday’s expanded Executive Board meeting of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the screening group approved the inclusion of  227 athletes for the 16th Asian Games.

Romasanta said additions are still expected since various sports association–like athletics, aquatics, shooting, triathlon to mention a few–are still lobbying for the inclusion of their athletes.

The Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee has set the deadline for the submission of entry by name at the end of the month.

“Even if we reach 247-250, it’s still considered a lean squad, leaner than our delegation in the Doha Asian Games considering we have dragon boat, men‘s basketball, softball and dancesports in this year‘s Games,” Romasanta stressed.

Four years ago, the Philippines composed of  233 athletes won only four gold, six silver and nine bronze medals in Doha Games.

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