Team Philippines (1996-2012)
ASIDE from Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco’s silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games, the country has not won a single medal—of any color—for the past two decades.
But the Philippines came very close to it twice in taekwondo.
Next to boxing, the Korean martial arts sport has been held in lofty regard when it comes to gold-medal chances for the Philippines. And for good reason.
Filipino jins Jasmin Strachan and Mary Antoinette Rivero came two wins short of bronze medals in the 2000 and 2004 Games, respectively.
Strachan, 22 years old that time, got a bye in the first round of the women’s featherweight division in Sydney and went straight to the quarterfinals against Tran Hieu Ngen of Vietnam.
She lost to the Vietnamese and fell into the repechage bracket where she defeated Cheryl An Sankar of Trinidad and Tobago. She could have obtained a shot at the bronze medal match but yielded to Turkey’s Hamide Bikcin.
Four years later, Rivero, then a promising 16-year-old star, had a raging start in the women’s welterweight in Athens.
She downed Vanina Sanchez of Argentina in the first round and crushed Charmie Sobers of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
But in the semifinals, she bowed to hometown bet Elli Mystakidou who eventually lost the gold to Lou Wei of China.
In the first round of repechage, she took a bye, but eventually lost in the next to Korean Hwang Gyeong-seon.
1996 ATLANTA—Athletics: Roy Vence (marathon), Elma Muros-Posadas (long jump); Badminton: Amparo “Weena” Lim; Boxing: Mansueto Velasco, Elias Recaido, Virgilio Vicera, Romeo Brin, Reynaldo Galido; Equestrian: Denise Cojuangco; Shooting: George Earnshaw; Swimming: Raymond Papa, Gillian Akiko Thomson
2000 Sydney—Archery:Jennifer Chan; Athletics: Eduardo Buenavista (steeplechase), Lerma Bulauitan (100-meter dash); Boxing: Danilo Lerio,Larry Semillano, Romeo Brin,Alrlan Lerio Diving: Zardo Domenios, Shiela Mae Perez Equestrian: Toni Leviste; Rowing: Benjamin Tolentino, Shooting: Jasmin Luis;Swimming:Miguel Mendoza, Juan Carlos Piccio, Jenny Rose Guerrero, Marie Lizza Danila; Taekwondo: Roberto Cruz, Donald Geisler, Eva Marie Ditan, Jasmine Strachan
2004 ATHENS—Athletics: Eduardo Buenavista (marathon), Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito (long jump); Boxing: Henry Tanamor, Violito Payla, Romeo Brin, Chrisopher Camat; Shooting: Jethro Dionisio, Swimming: Raphael Matthew Chua, Miguel Mendoza, Miguel Molina, James Walsh,Jackie Pangilinan
Taekwondo: Tshomlee Go, Donald Geisler, Mary Antoinette Rivero
2008 BEIJING—Archery: Mark Javier, Athletics, Henry Dagmil (long jump), Marestella Torres (long jump); Boxing: Harry Tañamor; Diving: Rexel Ryan Fabriga, Shiela Mae Perez; Shooting:Eric Ang; Swimming: Ryan Paolo Arabejo, Daniel Coakley, Miguel Molina, James Walsh, Christel Simms; Taekwondo: Tshomlee Go, Mary Antoinette Rivero; Weightlifting:Hidilyn Diaz
2012 LONDON—Archery: Mark Javier,Rachel Anne Cabral; Athletics:Marestella Torres (long jump), Rene Herrera (5,000);Boxing: Mark Anthony Barriga; Cycling: Daniel Caluag; Judo: Tomohiko Hoshina; Shooting: Brian Rosario, Swimming: Jasmine Alkhaldi, Jessie Khing Lacuna; Weightlifting: Hidilyn Diaz
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