PH youth Olympians ready | Inquirer Sports

PH youth Olympians ready

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:20 AM October 07, 2018

Yuka Saso of the Philippines. AFP

BUENOS AIRES—After exchanging pleasantries with the world’s best athletes their age during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Youth Olympics Games, the hostilities will now commence for seven Filipino athletes whose major goal is to come back home with nothing less than a medal inside their luggage.

Golfer Yuka Saso will be at the forefront of the country’s campaign here, joining the flag-bearers from the other 205 countries in the grand parade and extravagant welcoming rites scheduled Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at Obelisco de Buenos Aires.


It will be the first time in Olympic history that the opening ceremony is set outside a sports stadium.


A day after the festivities that will kick off the 12-day sportsfest of over 4,000 athletes, table tennis wonder Jann Mari Nayre will plunge into action against a still unidentified opponent in the preliminary round.

Kiteboarder Christian Tio enters the spotlight next on Oct. 8. Tio, the son of a Norwegian father and a Filipino mother, plays for six consecutive days in a bid to land on the medal list.

“We all know that winning in the YOG is a tall order. One thing I can guarantee is that our athletes will do everything within their abilities to win a medal,” said chef de mission Jonne Go, also the auditor of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Winning a gold medal in the world’s biggest sportsfest for the best 18-under athletes on the planet is indeed possible for the Filipino athletes—it’s already been done before.

Archer Gab Moreno accomplished that dream in the 2014 version of the Games in Nanjing, China, when he pocketed a gold with China’s Li Jiaman in the mixed international team event.

“In this level of competition, we are very capable of matching up with the most talented athletes in the world. I hope we can deliver again,” said Go, who was also the CDM four years ago.


Joining Go here is POC secretary general Patrick Gregorio.

“We’re looking at the future of Philippine sports here,” said Gregorio.

There are a total of 241 gold medals from 32 sports that will be given out until the closing ceremony on Oct. 18, with swimmer Nicole Justine Marie Oliva, archer Nicole Tagle, fencer Lawrence Everett Tan and golfer Carl Jano Corpus completing the cast of Filipino medal hopefuls.

Coaches Purita Joy Marino (archery), Mats Gunnar Atte Kappel (kiteboarding), Misook Kwon (table tennis), Rick Gibson (golf), Sherwyn John Santiago (swimming) and Bettina Budavari (fencing) will be there to guide their athletes.

Saso, an Asian Games double-gold medalist, is entered in the women’s individual stroke play, Tagle will play in the women’s recurve individual, Tio will see action in kiteboarding TRR men and Corpus will compete in the men’s golf individual stroke play.

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Oliva will vie for medals in women’s 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 200m free, 200m back, 400m free, 50m free and 800m free.

TAGS: Christian Tio, Olympic, Philippines, Yuka Saso

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