Final torch bearers are Pacquiao, Petecio

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    PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president and Rep. Bambol Tolentino yesterday said the final torch bearers during the opening rites are boxing icon and Sen. Manny Pacquiao and women’s world boxing champion Nesthy Petecio.

    Tolentino said the country’s flag bearers will still be Olympic-bound pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, Asian Games skateboarding champion Margielyn Arda Didal, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, world boxing silver medalist Eumir Marcial and Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidylin Diaz.

    The POC chief added the country’s sports legends such as bowler Paeng Nepomuceno and former Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega will carry the SEA Games Federation colors.

    Tolentino and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chief operating officer Tats Suzara appealed to the media not to dwell on the negatives and report the bright side of the country’s staging of the 30th SEA Games formally opening on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

    “We have resolved everything,” Suzara, adding that issues such as food, transport and accommodations were tackled last Monday in a meeting with the chiefs of mission of the 11 participating countries.

    “Everything is now in order and the opening ceremonies is on Saturday so we play as one and move on,” Tolentinosaid, adding the SEA Games Federation Council will holds its meeting today and tomorrow.

    Joining them is noted chef Bruce Lim, who is in charge of the overall food needs of the athletes and officials taking part in the games. He explained they had prepared halal-certified food in majority of the hotels serving as the quarters of the participants.

    Halal food is based on the religious and dietary requirements of Muslims.

    “Food at the Athletes’ Village (in the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac) is strictly halal,” Lim said. – Bong Pedralvez