Duterte to fire up Olympic team | Inquirer Sports
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Duterte to fire up Olympic team

PRESIDENT Duterte sends off the Philippine Olympic team to Rio de Janeiro in Malacañang today.

Fighting words for the slim delegation are to be expected from the fiery Chief Executive at the event.

Slated at 2 p.m., the gathering will be limited to accredited team athletes and officials, and board members of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Chief of mission Joey Romasanta credits PSC Chair Butch Ramirez for arranging the Palace visit. Ramirez will be with Mr. Duterte to fire up the delegation, along with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Management Staff Chief Christopher Go.

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With golfer Angelo Que dropping out, the PH contingent to Brazil now totals 12 athletes, one more than the 11 athletes, the slimmest in our 93 years of Olympic participation, sent to the London Games in 2012.

Apparently caring little about an Olympic medal and not subscribing to the notion that becoming an Olympian is a huge personal triumph, Que wrote the PSC “there are many factors that have contributed” to his decision.

He said the Zika virus hovering over the Games was his “biggest reason” for begging off.

Que opted out of the Olympics along with golf’s top players, led by world No. 1 Filipino-Australian Jason Day, No. 2 Dustin Johnson, No. 3 Jordan Spieth, No. 4 Rory McIlroy and others.

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The game’s marquee names cited Zika conveniently, but pundits agree that their real reason for not going is the hassle, the crammed schedule, the drug testing and the proximity of two PGA Majors—the just-concluded British Open this weekend and the PGA Championship starting on July 28.

Que was 59th among the 60 qualifiers to the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years. Miguel Tabuena, ranked 38th, will join the PH team to Rio.

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“It’s a personal choice that has to be respected,” said Romasanta. “But Que’s decision still means lost opportunity for himself and Philippine golf.”

As of this writing, the list of Rio-bound athletes are: golfer Tabuena, boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, tracksters Eric Cray, Marestella Torres-Sunang and marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, table tennis champ Ian Lariba, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia, taekwondo-jin Kirstie Elaine Alora, and swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna.

* * *

You’re stabbing away at the remote control to find something good on TV when your quest is halted by an electric outage.

Your irritating moment is likely repeated across the islands where the electric provider appears apathetic to the aftermath of power failures, planned or unplanned.

Power shutdowns have been plenty since late last year in our neck of the woods amid the increase of electric rates.

Despite repeated requests, the Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative (Iseco) did not give a count of how many times these have occurred, province, district and barangay wide.

In the province’s second district, the frequency of power interruptions is disturbing.

It won’t be a bad idea to weigh the economic and emotional impacts of such shutdowns, says Candon City spokesperson Leoncio Balbin Jr.

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