FIVE members of the men’s artistic gymnastics team will take a break not only for Lent but to also heed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols that Malacañang reimposed for a week starting last Monday.
But the gymnasts will have to remain at their training center at the Green Sun Hotel in Makati City. They couldn’t go home to their families to observe the Holy Week.
“I’m not very happy [with the ECQ], but we just have to follow,” Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion said. “At least it’s only until April 4. After that, we can continue training.”
Confined at the private training center are 2019 Southeast Asian Games participants Justin Deleon, John Vergara and Jan Timbang and 2017 Palarong Pambansa gold medalists John Ivan Cruz and Jhon Santillan.
They have been in the facility since January and are being trained online by coaches Aldrin Castañeda, Rafael Ablaza, Alexander Tolentino and Lauro Reyes.
The gymnasts are preparing for the 31st SEA Games Vietnam is hosting from November 21 to December 2.
Tokyo Olympics-bound Carlos Yulo has been training in Japan for a year now.
Carrion said that the athletes should not break training as much as possible.
“It’s bad. In gymnastics, when you stop training for one day, you lose a lot of skills,” she said.
The gymnasts couldn’t use the gymnastics gym at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex because the venue is utilized as a Covid-19 healing and quarantine facility.
They are training at the Makati City hotel’s third floor which is a high-ceiling and 1,000-square meter space appropriate for the sport.
Carrion stressed that athletes in rhythmic gymnastis, aerobics and trampoline are being conducted online because majority of them are minor.
Filipino gymnasts finished third in the ranking by country on three gold, five silver and four bronze medals in the 2019 SEA Games.