EJ Obiena, Kiyomi Watanabe named PH Tokyo Olympics flag bearers
MANILA, Philippines—Pole vaulter EJ Obiena and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe were chosen as the Philippines’ flag bearers for the opening parade of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In a virtual press conference, Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the two Olympians were informed of their roles beforehand and that they were chosen based on their schedules.
“All 19 athletes are qualified to be flag bearers but we based the selection on the flight availability, whoever is in Tokyo, and also the schedules of their games and practices,” said Tolentino.
Obiena will be arriving in Tokyo on July 23 while Watanabe is already in Japan.
Tolentino said that due to the strict COVID-19 protocols, the parade will be limited and only the two flag bearers and six officials will be representing the Philippines in the opening ceremonies.
Chef de mission Mariano Araneta, Philippine Judo Federation President Dave Carter, Gymnastics Association of the Philippines President Cynthia Carrion, Skate Pilipinas coach Daniel Bautista, and Philippineboxing team coach Nolito Velasco, along with the flag bearers, are the only Filipinos in the parade.
Meanwhile, Tolentino hoped that the 19 Filipino Olympians would still be in Tokyo so that the commission will have a better time choosing who will be the flag bearers for the closing ceremonies.
The Olympics is set to start on July 23 and end on August 8.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.