‘Tabuena made right choice’
RIO DE JANEIRO—Take it from the father. The dutiful son made the right decision to compete in the Rio Olympics.
Golfer Miguel Tabuena didn’t have second thoughts about playing in these Games despite the threat of the Zika virus that hangs like the proverbial sword of Damocles on this city, according to his proud father Luigi.
“You have your son playing in no less than the Olympics,” said the elder Tabuena. “When you see the people who have been sent here by their countries, it’s really very humbling.”
Miguel snagged his Olympic berth following a string of excellent finishes in international events this year. And, unlike his friend Angelo Que and female shotmaker Dottie Ardina, readily made himself available to the national team.
Que and Ardina worried over the virulent mosquito-borne virus and opted out of the team.
“I think it’s sad that they could not come,” said Luigi, himself a former national football player. “But more than that, it’s sad for the country.
“You’re not chosen by the country, you qualified to play, and you chose not to. And when you chose not to play, the one who replaced you is not even from the Philippines, it’s from another country. It makes things even worse.”
He said the Olympics was not on Miguel’s radar until he started collecting enough ranking points to clinch an automatic berth in Rio.
Along the way, Miguel—who as a 15-year-old bagged the silver medal in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games—played in the US Open and tabbed several Top 10 finishes on the Asian Tour to rise as high as No. 2 on the Order of Merit.
Luigi said he told Miguel to “just enjoy his time” in the Olympics.
“There’s a lot of pressure on the boy; the whole country wants him to win a medal,” said Luigi. “But he doesn’t show it.
He said Miguel is actually excited to play for the country.
“It’s a very special feeling for him,” said Luigi. “He gets to wear his country’s colors again with the flag on his shirt. He really likes that.”