Panlilio confident PH will win at least 1 gold in Tokyo Olympics
MANILA, Philippines — Al Panlilio, the first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), has high hopes that the Philippines will finally win its breakthrough Olympic gold in Tokyo next month.
So far, 10 Filipinos have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics led by Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo and middleweight contender Eumir Marcial.
“We’re hoping at least one. If we can have more than one that would be great,” Panlilo said in a press conference Friday.
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who just set a new Philippine record with 5.85 meters during a tournament in Germany, Asian skateboarding champion Margielyn Didal, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa and three other boxers in Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno and Carlo Paalam have also booked their slots in Tokyo.
Teen golfer Yuka Saso, fresh off a historic US Women’s Open triumph, is expected to add to the list.
“We have great potential in Caloy Yulo, Hidilyn was almost there in Rio,” said Panlilio. “Yuka won the US Open in golf. She trains and competes in Japan, it’s her backyard. Hopefully, Yuka is one potential candidate.”
“We have the boxers, we have taekwondo. Can we just aim for one? Hopefully, we have more. I think everybody has a chance,” he added.
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is confident the Philippine delegation to the Tokyo Games could reach 20 athletes—the most since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
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