Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez gets Tokyo Olympics berth
MANILA, Philippines—A second-generation shooter made it to Team Philippines bound for Tokyo Olympics, getting a free pass via the international federation quota places.
Jayson Valdez, son of three-time Southeast Asian Games champion Julius Valdez, became the first Filipino shooter to compete in the Games since London 2012.
The 25-year-old Valdez will compete in the air rifle 10-meter, the same event where his father competed during his time.
“I received an urgent message last night from ISSF (international federation) in Germany,” said Valdez in a statement. “They asked me if we’re ready, so I replied ‘yes, we’re ready,’ so they gave me the quota.”
He is the last shooter to qualify for the Tokyo Games that will begin July 23. But he is 12th Filipino to have made the roster, so far.
Golfers like US Open women’s champion Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan are also expected to qualify along with judo’s Kiyomi Watanabe.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino was elated with Valdez’s entry and described the shooter as a world contender.
“That’s an additional chance for us. Good thing there’s a quota qualifying in shooting, and the better thing, we have a world ranking athlete, also a scholar of the POC,” Tolentino said.
In 2012, Paul Bryan Rosario made the cut in men’s skeet as a wild card entry.
Philippine National Sports Association secretary general Irene Garcia also confirmed Valdez’s entry.
Olympic qualifiers so far are boxers Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Bryan Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ann Ando.