Philippines to bring home multiple Olympic medals for first time since 1932
MANILA, Philippines — For the first time since Los Angeles 1932 Games, the Philippines will finish with multiple medalists in the Olympics.
As of Wednesday, the Philippine delegation to the Tokyo Olympics has now secured two medals after Hidilyn Diaz’s gold in weightlifting and Nesthy Petecio’s guaranteed bronze in boxing.
But more medals are expected to come for the Philippines with three more boxers headed by Eumir Marcial still in contention and other top bets in reigning US Women’s Open golf champion Yuka Saso, fast-rising pole vaulter EJ Obiena among others yet to see action in their respective events.
World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo will also compete in the medal round of vault on Aug. 2.
Tokyo 2020 is already considered as a banner Olympic year for the Philippines following Diaz’s accomplishment and Petecio’s sure podium.
Diaz’s feat completed the near-century old quest for the gold medal by the Philippines, which first participated in the Olympics in Paris 1924.
In 1932, the Philippines plucked three bronze medals courtesy of athletics’ Simeon Toribio, bantamweight boxer Jose Villanueva and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso. Yldefonso was also the first Filipino to win an Olympic medal after he bagged the bronze in Amsterdam 1928.
Since then, the Philippines has managed to win just six medals from the 1936 Berlin Games to Rio 2016 with the exception of the Moscow edition in 1980 where the country did not participate due to the Soviet-Afghan war.
Diaz came close to delivering the country’s breakthrough gold in 2016 after seizing the silver. Boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco also won silver in Atlanta 1996 in a light flyweight final that ended in highly controversial fashion.
In between Velasco and Diaz’s silver finishes, the Philippine contingent came home empty-handed in four straight Games.
Here’s the full list of Filipino Olympic medalists from 1936 to 2016:
Berlin 1936 – Miguel White (athletics): bronze
Tokyo 1964 – Anthony Villanueva (boxing): silver
Seoul 1988 – Leopoldo Serantes (boxing): bronze
Barcelona 1992- Roel Velasco (boxing): bronze
Atlanta 1996 – Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco (boxing): silver
Rio 2016 – Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting): silver
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