Island boy makes good
BUENOS AIRES—The death of a prominent international sports official marred the Youth Olympic Games here on Sunday.
But there was no stopping Team Philippines from celebrating as Filipino-Norwegian Christian Tio gifted the country with its first medal in the 2018 Games for athletes 18 years old and below.
After more than two months of training in different countries, Tio will leave this Argentinian capital with a silver medal in men’s kiteboarding.
Tio placed second in the final race to jump from fourth overall to a silver he shared with Toni Vodisek of Slovenia after nearly a week of competitions at Club Nautico San Isidro.
“It’s been a tough week and we really had light winds,” said the 17-year-old Tio.
Deury Corniel of the Dominican Republic seized the gold medal as he displayed consistency in all six races prior to Sunday morning’s finale.
Corniel topped three races and led the entire week where the kiteboarders encountered several canceled races due to light winds.
The YOG was jolted upon learning that Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of basketball’s world governing body, Fiba, “unexpectedly succumbed to a heart attack” here.
He was 51.
Baumann, seen as a potential International Olympic Committee president, received immediate medical help, Fiba said Sunday in a statement.
“Basketball has lost a leader, an advocate and a friend, and our thoughts are with Patrick’s wife and two children at this tragic time,” the Switzerland-based Fiba said.
Baumann was Fiba’s top administrator for 15 years, and an IOC member since 2007.
Away from home
Tio, who ended up tied with Vodisek in the final race, trained four weeks at the Dominican Republic and another four weeks here to get his body well adjusted.
“That did very well, because I don’t have any jetlag and I wasn’t really tired,” said Tio. “I have the energy. My mind-set, really, was just to go for it and enjoy.”
“Now I want to go home,” added Tio, a Boracay Island resident who will receive P2.5 million under Republic Act 10699, or the expanded Sports Benefits and Incentives Act.
Over at the Parque Sarmiento archery range, Nicole Marie Tagle and Hendrik Oun of Estonia lost to New Zealand’s Rebecca Jones and Chihchun Tang of Chinese Taipei, 5-1, in the quarterfinals of the mixed international event.
“The crosswind has affected my game,” said Tagle, who is scheduled to face Alyssia Tromans-Ansell of Great Britain in the women’s recurve individual round of 16 on Tuesday.
“But I’m still happy with the outcome after we beat the fourth-ranked team in the round of 16.”
Running 13th after the rankings, Tagle and Oun stunned favorites Reza Shabani of Iran and Tromans-Ansell, 5-3, before the quarterfinals.
In the golf mixed event, Yuka Saso and Carl Janno Corpus fired a five-over 75 for a share of 17th to 19th places with The Netherlands and Canada duos at 141.
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul and Vanchai Luangnitikul fired a two-under 68 to secure a one-shot lead at 129 after two rounds.
Over the weekend, 16-year-old swimmer Nicole Justine Marie Oliva made the country doubly proud by making the finals in two of four freestyle events.
Oliva placed sixth in the women’s 400 meters and eighth in the 200m.
The California-based Filipino also made the 100m and 200m finals.
“I was just trying to make the cut here and to have a good experience, do my best and see how this will prepare me in future international competitions for the Philippines,” said Oliva.
Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco said Oliva is the future of Philippine swimming.
We didn’t expect this,” said Velasco. “She is the first Filipina to have four QTAs (qualifying time A) in the YOG.” —WITH REPORTS FROM AP
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