Fil-Canadian archer crashesBy Artemio Engracia Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LONDON—CRISPIN DUENAS, the Fil-Canadian who represents Canada in the London Olympics and one of the world’s top-ranked archers, has crashed out of the Games in one of the biggest upsets in the archery competition here.
The 26-year-old Toronto-based physics major, only child of Filipino immigrants Roland and Elena Duenas, bowed out after losing to Egypt’s Ahmed El-Nemr, 6-2, in the first round of the knockout phase of the competition.
Duenas, rated among the world’s best, qualified No. 8 after the ranking round on Friday while El-Nemr was only seven places from last at No. 57. The ranking round determined the seedings among the 64 archers who qualified for the Olympics.
Still alive in the competition is the No. 55 ranked Mark Javier, who still has to play his first match in the knockout round at presstime Wednesday.
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Philippine sports officials have been making the rounds of Olympic venues around London to give moral support to the 11 Filipino athletes competing in the Games.
After five of the 11 fell by the wayside, Mark Anthony Barriga ended their frustration by winning his first-round fight in boxing. Seen at the ExCel South Arena were chief of mission Manny Lopez, his father, former Manila Mayor and boxing chief Mel Lopez, Philippine Olympic Committee chair Monico Puentevella, Philippine Sports Commission chair Ricardo Garcia, and Ed Picson, executive director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
Earlier, Peping Cojuangco and Steve Hontiveros of the POC were seen in various venues in spport of the athletes. Francisco Elizalde, the only Filipino member of the International Olympic Committee, watched archers Mark Javier and Rachelle Anne Cabral at The Lord’s Cricket Grounds for archery’s ranking round.
The officials’ frustration grew as one by one—Cabral, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, shooter Brian Rosario and weightlifter Hidilyn fell. The latest casualty was Jasmine Alkhaldi, who was eliminated after the women’s 100-meter freestyle heats early Wednesday.
Still to see action are swimmer BMX rider Daniel Caluag, judoka Tomohiko Hoshina, long jumper Marestella Torres and 5,000-meter runner Rene Herrera.
Except for Caluag who might pull a surprise at the BMX tracks, their medal prospects are virtually none.
The glimmer of hope comes from Barriga and the officials are clinging tightly to that very slim chance of a medal.