Obiena-PATAFA rift could have been avoided, says Monsour

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2022 09:48 PM

obiena

Former taekwondo champion and Olympian Monsour del Rosario said the rift between EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association could have been avoided if they let the Olympic pole vaulter focus on his work as an athlete.

"Nakakalungkot kasi ang sports ay mas malaki kaysa sa usapang pera. Internal problem po ito na dapat ay hindi na lumaki," he said in a statement.

Del Rosario said that Obiena should not have been burdened with other responsibilities such as accounting and liquidation of his funds.

"Noong ako po ay nagt-train para sa sports na Taekwondo, alam ko po ang aking trabaho - matulog, kumain, magensayo at sa oras na itinakda - magpakitang gilas sa buong mundo," Del Rosario, who is running for senator, added.

"Hindi ko po kinailangang problemahin ang accounting - trabaho po iyan ng isang administrador o ng aking coach."

As a taekwondo jin, Del Rosario represented the Philippines in international competitions. 

He earned a gold medal in the 14th and 15th Southeast Asian Games, a bronze medal in the 10th Asian Games, and reached the quarterfinal round during the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

He later became a sports leader and even served a term as a congressman in Makati City.

Del Rosario said that it would also be better for national sports associations (NSA) to have sportsmen as leaders as they have better understanding of the needs of their athletes.

"Dapat isang atleta din ang namumuno sa ating mga sports organizations kasi alam ng isang atleta kung ano mismo ang kailangan ng mga manlalaro," he said.

Del Rosario also understands that the feud between Obiena and PATAFA stemmed from money matters.

But he emphasized that managing an athlete requires more than money.

"Blood, sweat and tears - iyan ang binibigay natin sa bawat laban kung saan bitbit natin ang watawat ng bansa. Mas malaking bagay yan kaysa sa usaping pera," he said.

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