Jason Feliciano and Riley Silos hurdled their respective opponents at the start of the Olympic round while siblings Pia and Gabrielle Bidaure likewise advanced to the next phase built on a tenacious performance in the ranking rounds of the World Archery Final Olympic Qualification in Paris, France.
The Olympic bid of the four-man Philippine archery squad simultaneously got a boost after World Archery, the global governing body in the sport, dangled 12 more individual quota spots for the coming Tokyo Olympics.
Feliciano, the pride of Dagupan City who was seeded 35th after the 72-arrow ranking round in men’s recurve, survived Sweden’s David Fredriksson in a 6-5 shoot off that set up the Filipino in a meeting with 30th-seed Sajeev de Silva of Sri Lanka in the second round.
Ranked 61st after the preliminaries, Silos also progressed to the next round with a 7-3 triumph over Chui Chun Man of Hong Kong, propelling him to a bigger challenge opposite 13th seed Heorhiy Ivanytsky of Ukraine.
“It feels amazing when everything you trained for falls into place during a competition. Every competitive archer dreams to be in the Olympics and I’m now working toward that,” said the California-based Silos, who reached his highest ranking of No. 15 in the world.
Out of the 12 additional Tokyo tickets available in the Paris qualifier, seven will be rewarded in the men’s individual recurve and five in the women’s side.Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero lauded the inclusion of shooter Jayson Valdez in next month’s Tokyo Olympics.
Romero advised the 25-year-old Valdez to stay focused and determined on his goals.
“I know this young man, he’s gutsy,” Romero said.
Valdez became the 12th Filipino athlete to qualify for the Tokyo games—thanks to the quota system implemented by the Munich-based International Shooting Sports Federation.
The last Filipino shooter to compete in the Olympics was Brian Rosario during the 2012 London Games. INQ