Filipino OSM scholars to strengthen bid for Rio
Expectations are high for Filipino Olympic scholars to dish out solid performances in qualifying tournaments and make it to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Philippine Olympic Committee 1st vice president Joey Romasanta said the 14 scholar-athletes from seven sports have the edge to qualify due to the leverage granted by the Olympic Solidarity Movement (OSM) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Priority is given to the scholars to secure invitational places provided they meet the minimum standard in their events,” said Romasanta, the country’s chief of mission to the Games set June 5 to 21.
A universality place or wildcard berth is generally awarded by the IOC to countries bereft of qualifiers in a particular sport.
Besides the monthly allowances worth $500 each athlete receives, a huge slice of the expenses these Olympic aspirants will spend in qualifying tournaments will be shouldered by the OSM.
BMX rider and Asian Games gold medalist Daniel Caluag heads the cast of Filipino Olympic scholars from various sports. Their preparation and buildup for the Games are being monitored by IOC.
Also included in the list of OSM scholars are swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna and jins John Paul Lizardo, Kirstie Elaine Alora, Kristopher Robert Uy and Christian Dela Cruz.
Boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno, golfers Clare Legaspi and Princess Superal, shooters Amparo Acuna and Hagen Topacio and canoeing’s Hermie Macaranas are also part of the program.
“Hopefully, these scholars could make it,” said Romasanta. “The IOC would like to see that the program really works.”
Starting this month, these athletes will compete in qualifying tournaments overseas in a bid to gain tickets to Rio.
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