In the next 20 days, the Philippines team will change their preparation at full speed and finalize the pieces necessary for a golden breakthrough at the Tokyo Olympics.
The president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, is confident that the Philippine delegation will have a maximum of 20 athletes to accomplish the colossal task of nailing the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
“The projection is 15 to 20 athletes. If we can send 20, then this will be our largest delegation in the last 21 years, ” Tolentino said, citing the PH contingent of 20 athletes during the Sydney 2000 Games.
So far, there are nine official Tokyo Olympic qualifiers led by 2016 Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Díaz in weightlifting, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vault ace EJ Obiena and world champion in women’s boxing Nesthy Petecio. .
Boxers Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial are also included in the elite cast along with Taekwondo rower Cris Nievarez and Kurt Barbosa.
US Open women’s champion Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan of golf will likely make the Olympic cut pending their official inclusion, as well as Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal of skateboard and four-time gold winner in the Southeast Asian Games Kiyomi Watanabe. The Olympic limit for playoffs in various sports is set from June 22-30.
“By counting these athletes plus potential karatedo, judo, triathlon, archery, swimming and track athletes, our chances of winning the gold (medal) will be much greater than in previous Olympics,” Tolentino said. INQ
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