Peping Cojuangco: We will not be humiliated in OlympicsBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee chief Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. won’t commit a medal of any color in the London Olympics, but said he’s sure the 11 Filipino Olympians will gamely try to outdo themselves.
“The way I look at things, we will not be humiliated,” said Cojuangco, noting that BMX rider Daniel Caluag, archers Mark Javier and Rachel Cabral and long jumper Marestella Torres could pull off surprises.
“I’m not saying we could win a medal,” he added. “It’s hard to say that because we don’t know what kind of opposition we’ll be facing. But (BMX and archery) could give us a good showing. Same with Marestella if she’s in good shape.”
Caluag, a Filipino-American, has been ranked No.1 four times in the United States; Torres topped the continent in her discipline in 2009, while Javier and Cabral have been showing splendid form since archery hired South Korean coach Chun Jae-hun, a gold medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The Philippines has failed to nail a medal since 1996, when boxer Mansueto Velasco Jr. seized a silver in the Atlanta Games.
Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skeet shooter Brian Rosario and judoka Tomohiko Hoshina are the other long-shot bets for medal in the July 27 to Aug. 12 global meet.
Swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi, steeplechaser Rene Herrera, Barriga, Diaz, Rosario and Torres are now deep into the pregames training camp in the British capital.
Philippine chef de mission Manny Lopez has been lobbying for the inclusion of Javier and Cabral in the camp while Hoshina and Caluag have been practicing outside the training camp organized by the London Olympic Committee.