PH kiteboarding ace Tio clinches lone Youth Olympic Games berth
Christian Tio earned the lone Youth Olympic Games spot after ruling the Iconic Kitesurfing Youth Olympic Asia/Oceania Qualifiers Sunday in Pranburi, Thailand.
Tio, one of the Philippines’ fast-rising stars in kiteboarding, overcame stiff competition that gathered the best 15 to 18-year-old kiteboarders in the continent during the five-day event.
“It’s been a tough week,” said Tio. “It’s been a goal to get to the Olympics and we’ve been waiting for kiting to get into the Games for sometime, so it feels pretty good to qualify and have the honor of representing my country.”
“Now I’m it, I’ll do my best to win it,” added Tio, son of pro kiteboarders Chris Mohn and Liezl Tio.
The Youth Olympic Games will be staged in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.
The 16-year-old Tio, who hails from Boracay Island, topped Haoran Zhang of China and local bet Sarun Rupchorn. Tio tallied 26 points after 20 elimination rounds while Zhang scored 34 and Rupchorn finished with 41.
Tio, who is coming off a victorious stint in the Boracay leg of the Philippine Kiteboarding Tour just last month, gained steam in the last two days of competition while Rupchorn wavered.
“We’re all delighted with how our team fared in the YOG elims. This has been a triumphant moment for all of us Filipinos. Getting a slot in the YOG was no easy task and now that we’re in, this may be our chance of winning our first-ever gold in the YOG,” said PKA president and team manager Jay Ortiz.
Meanwhile, Chinese Jingle Chen took the only YOG spot in the girls’ side, scoring 16 points to best compatriot Kewen Li (32) and Thai Nicharan Rodthong (43.3).
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