Boxers, shooters, wrestlers taking crack at London Olympic berths
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino boxers, shooters and wrestlers will try to catch the last bus to the London Olympics this year by competing in separate qualifying events starting next week.
The PH trap team, composed of three-time world speed-shooting champion Jethro Dionisio, Eric Ang and Hagen Topacio, and skeet shooter Brian Rosario will leave for Doha, Qatar on Jan. 14 for the Asian Shooting championships.
Dionisio, a veteran of the Athens Games in 2004, said during the Scoop sa Kamayan yesterday that they will also be joined by multiple Southeast Asian Games champion Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla and Jayson Valdez who will see action in pistol competitions.
“The region’s world caliber shooters have already earned their tickets to London so if they dominate the first five positions in the championships, those who would land in the next positions from fifth to 10th places will advance (to the Olympics),” Dionisio said.
National boxing coach Boy Velasco said the Filipino fighters could still avail of tickets to London in the Asian Olympic men’s qualifying on March 30 to April 8 in Astana, Kazakhstan. There will also be berths at stake in the World Women’s championships from May 21 to June 3 in Quinhuangdao, China.
So far only light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga is assured of a stint in the Olympics after making it in the World qualifying last year in Azerbaijan.
“Fifteen slots are up for grabs in five weight divisions in that Asian qualifying and we will be sending our soon-to-be-formed national team there,” said Velasco. “We will be taking part in only the 52-kg class, 56, 64 and 69 levels.”
He said Charly Suarez, the country’s best bet in 60kg, has been invited to compete in the World Series of Boxing in India which is also a qualifying event.
Meanwhile, national wrestling coach Roy Camposano said five to six Filipino grapplers will compete in the Asian qualifying on March 30 to April 1 also in Astana, and in another qualifying event in Taiyuan, China on April 27 to 29.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.