Lopez wants London camp for archersBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ALTHOUGH they made it late to what is now an 11-member national team, Philippine chef de mission Manny Lopez remained hopeful that archers Mark Javier and Rachel Cabral would still be allowed to join the pre-games training camp of the London Olympics.
Javier and Cabral only qualified two weeks ago following impressive performances in the World Archery Championship in Ogden, Utah, and since then Lopez has been seeking the help of Olympic officials that the two former Beijing Olympic Games bets can also be accommodated along with most of the other Filipino Olympians in the camp.
“We had seen the importance of the camp with our boxers in previous Olympics,” said Lopez, a former amateur boxing president who is now the first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
“They will not only see their possible opponents up close, they will also gain confidence prior to competition,” he added.
Lopez noted that boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco exploited his stint in the pre-Olympic training camp in the 1996 Atlanta Games to bag a silver medal, which was incidentally the last Olympic medal for the Philippines.
Another alternative is to send the archers to South Korea and train there until a week prior to the archery competitions but Lopez is more inclined for them to go straight to London and participate in the 15-day camp.
Except for judoka Tomohiko Aldaba Hoshina, BMX rider Daniel Caluag and the archers, the rest of the Olympic-bound athletes are now in the camp or on their way to the British capital.
One among swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi, shooter Brian and Hoshina is being considered as flag bearer during the opening rites.