Rising PH archers put Tokyo in crosshairs
Pia Elizabeth Angela Bidaure can visualize herself pulling an arrow on the shooting line along with hundreds of women archers from other countries, all of them eager to grab the 64 available tickets for the Tokyo Olympics.
Bidaure has improved dramatically to No. 39 out of the best 428 female archers in the world and has set her sights on the final Olympic qualification tournament tentatively set on June 18 to 20 in Paris, France.
“I am very much excited about it, especially since it was postponed because of the pandemic. Everyone’s been training hard for this including myself so I look forward to participating,’’ the 22-year-old Bidaure said.
Based in Dumaguete City, Bidaure worked her way up the rankings throughout the year at a time when most national athletes have been keeping themselves in shape through online training.
“I train six days a week for at least three hours a day so I’d be able to fully control my equipment and get a great feeling for each arrow I shoot,’’ said the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering student from Silliman University.
California-based Riley Silos has likewise improved his ranking to No. 15 in the world out of 770 men’s recurve archers and is a top candidate to join Bidaure in the Paris final Olympic qualifier.
“They are the products of our grassroots program. The rankings don’t really matter during the Olympic qualifier. Even if you rank at No. 300 and you shoot well during the qualifiers, you can earn a spot in the Olympic round,’’ said lawyer Jesus Clint Aranas, the World Archery Philippines president.
Aranas said three Filipino archers for each gender can go to the qualifying meet once the invitation from World Archery arrives.
Jason Emmanuel Feliciano also boosted his stock to No. 22 in the world for men’s recurve. Phoebe Nicole Amistoso went up to No. 80 in women’s recurve.
A total of 64 qualifying spots for the Tokyo Summer Games are available each for men’s and women’s recurve with five events—men’s and women’s individual, team and mixed.