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Davao City, Philippines

The sky is the limit

December 09, 2019 - Monday 4:12 AM by MDM

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With its world-class handling of the Southeast Asean Games, there is no preventing the Philippines from bidding for the right to host the Asian Games (ASIAD) itself.

The ASIAD is the closest there is to a regional Olympics. It has 46 national federations participating, to include the former Russian republics. The standards are much higher and the level of competition definitely world-class, so much so that tried as it would the Philippines could only manage a 19th place when it was last hosted by Indonesia in 2018.

The next ASIAD will be hosted by Hangzhou in 2022. If the Philippines would so desire, it could bid for the hosting of the 2026 ASIAD. And following the example of Indonesia that split the venues between Jakarta and Palembang, the Philippines could divide the games between Manila and Davao.

One of the four golds the Philippines won in Jakarta was delivered by skateboard whiz Magielyn Didal, who also plucked a gold medal in the current SEA games.

The country’s handling of the 2019 SEA games exceeded expectations. In a scale of 1 to 10, it would rate perfect 10s in terms of airport, hotel, ushering, food, and security handling.

The host country also unveiled a total of 64 sports as compared to the 38 sports unveiled in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

With this as credential, the Philippines can vie for the ASIAD hosting with all confidence. It already has the facilities, to include Olympic-standard structures in Davao City itself. And with more than five years to prepare, it will have evolve the wherewithal to ensure a successful hosting of the games.

The SEA games have shown what sports tourism is all about and what makes the Filipino’s hospitality so renowned. Both may able to unlock a window of opportunity that would help this country get over the hump.