Molina pondering on retiring

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — HIS performance in the coming Beijing Olympics will play a role in Filipino pool star Miguel Molina’s decision to finally quit or not from active competition.

His second Olympic stint is what he’s focused at the moment, according to the 23-year-old Best Male Athlete of the 2007 Southeast Asian Games, the result of which will have a huge impact on what the future holds.

Molina is now cooling down from his year-long training at the Trace Aquatics Center in Los Banos and will be leaving together with the bulk of the RP Team delegation on August 5 for Beijing.

He’s competing in two events – the 200m breaststroke on August 12 and 200m individual medley on August 13.

“I really haven’t thought anything past the Beijing Olympics. Right now, I’m training as if this would be my last. It depends on the Beijing (Games) whether I will still swim or not,” the inter-disciplinary graduate from the University of California-Berkeley said.

His pronouncement also put in the air a return in next year’s SEA Games in Laos. Molina won four gold medals in the 24th edition of the biennial meet in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand.

“I have not thought about whether I can swim in Laos or not,” he added.

Following his dominant showing in the pool during the Thailand SEA Games, Molina expressed his desire to don the national colors again in Laos, but said it depends on whether he’ll be able to get a sponsor to finance his training that costs him approximately $2,500 a month.

Again, Molina hinted how the high cost of training alone had been a big burden for him financially that the swimming star said he also need to find a job and fend for himself.

“You know I also have to think of myself, get a job and go on with my life,” he added.

Originally chosen to be the country’s flag bearer during the Games’ elaborate opening ceremony, Molina has since yielded the significant role to boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao.

While the matter may be a big deal to some, for Molina it’s an issue that should not really be blown out of proportion.

“To me, the fact that I was considered is already an honor. Besides, he (Pacquiao) is the symbol of the best athlete the Filipino can offer,” said the soft-spoken swimmer.