Team PH eyeing to send more athletes to Paris Olympics
Barely six months from the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Team Philippines is already assured of sending at least seven athletes from four sports with a number of them having the potential to win gold or at least climb the podium.
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, ranked second in the world, arguably has the biggest chance of snaring a medal if not the gold based on previous performances on the world stage.
Gymnast Carlos Yulo has likewise kicked off his preparation into high gear, burying the disappointments of the past as the two-time world champion braces for a tougher competition ahead.
Also positioning himself for a medal finish is boxer Eumir Marcial, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist in the middleweight class who will try his luck and prowess in the light heavy division.
Less than a tick away
“These athletes are capable of bringing us medals from the Olympics. While we are already assured of at least seven qualified athletes, we expect more to qualify in the coming months,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino.
As the highest-ranked Filipino female swimmer, twice Olympic medalist for Canada Kayla Noelle Sanchez could easily seize one of the two mandatory slots for the Philippine swim team in the Olympics.
The 22-year-old might not need the free ride though, since she’s less than a second away from the required Olympic standard in the 100-meter and 50-m freestyle events to reach the glittering French capital.
“Kayla is just three-tenths of a second away from the qualification standard in these events. That’s how close she is to earning a spot in Paris,’’ said Philippine Aquatics secretary general Eric Buhain.
Sanchez was a silver and bronze women’s relay medalist for Team Canada in the Tokyo Olympics. She made the switch to the national squad and got the nod of the International Olympic Committee and World Aquatics.
Sanchez and six other Filipino tankers will compete in the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 18 where she’s anticipated to achieve the necessary Olympic clocking.