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Philippines tightens criteria for 2018 Asian Games hopefuls

MANILA - Filipino athletes eyeing a spot at the 2018 Asian Games may have their work cut out ahead of this year's regional Olympics in Indonesia after officials said only medal holders need apply.

The southeast Asian nation, which has never won an Olympic gold, made the announcement Wednesday as it looks to boost the number of accolades it brings home.

"What is the use of sending young athletes without experience? We are sending possible medal contenders. This is not just for participation," Julian Camacho, the country's chief of mission for the Games, told AFP.

Camacho said only those who won a medal at the 2014 Asian Games or a gold or silver at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games would be eligible for the 2018 event.

Medalists at regional-level tournaments or athletes who equal or surpass Asian records will also be considered, he added.

The decision comes after the Philippines won only 1 gold, 3 silvers and 11 bronze medals during the last Asian Games in South Korea four years ago.

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