WITH rowing competitions not included in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, the national men’s and women’s teams will have to focus their energies elsewhere.
National head coach Ed Maerina said this after he learned that the sport was not in the final list of events approved last July by the SEA Games Federation Council.
“We have a lot of training scheduled here and abroad. Then, there are competitions around that we can join in,” said Maerina in a radio interview.
This year, plans are now afoot for national rowers to take part in sculls’ competitions slated in Thailand and Japan.
The new leadership of the Philippine Rowing Association, now headed by Quintin Pastrana, are now finalizing their plans for the year, added Maerina.
Locally, the national squads are set to train in Bulacan and in Palawan.
To help strengthen the level of the national team’s performance, they are now coordinating with the Philippine Sports Commission on the acquisition of coaches from Russia, China and Canada.
In the 2015 SEA Games, Filipino rowers placed sixth overall with a silver and bronze.
Nestor Cordova gave the Philippines its lone silver in the 1000-meter single sculls’ event, while Benjamin Tolentino and Edgar Ilas Jr. added a bronze in the 1000-m lightweight double sculls.
Back in 2013, the Philippines was third with a gold and two silvers.
It was Cordova, who delivered the gold in the single sculls.
Last July, the SEA Games Federation Council gave its final approval and endorsed the Local Organizing Committee’s proposal of having a total of 38 sports and 405 events to be contested for the biennial Games.
The final list featured 208 events for men’s competition, 177 for women and 20 for mixed events.
Among the sports which were missing in the last Games in Singapore, but will make its appearance in Kuala Lumpur 2017 are cricket track cycling, futsal, ice hockey, ice skating, karate lawn bowl, muay and men’s weightlifting.
Among the sports that were featured in Singapore but were omitted from the Kuala Lumpur list are canoeing, floorball, rowing, softball and traditional boat race.
There are a total of 1,332 medals at stake, with 403 gold medals up for grabs in the games.