The Tokyo Olympics are now just over two months away and there’s still no sign that the Japanese government is canceling. Aside from that, the qualifying window is slowly as days pass by. So the question here is, will the Philippines be able to send more representatives there?
The Philippines has a lot of contenders for the Tokyo Olympics
According to Philippine contingent chef de mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta Jr., they still have a good number of athletes who can pass the qualifications. He is even confident that our athletes will surpass the ones who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. Five years ago, the Philippines has 13 Pinoy representatives in the carnival city of Rio de Janeiro, including the famous weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. Diaz was able to bag the silver medal in the women’s 55KG division.
8 Pinoy athletes already qualified to compete this year
Araneta an online meeting with key staff of the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee about the number of possible athletes. He said that in total, our country has 41 athletes in the 13 sports category applying for the spots. So far, 8 Pinoys have already booked their tickets for the biggest sports event of the year.
One of the eight qualifiers is the 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Cris Nievarez. He joined a prestigious group after taking the 9th spot in men’s singles sculls of the World Rowing Asia-Oceania Olympic qualification regatta. Ever since Benjie Tolentino participated in Australia 11 years ago, Nievarez is the latest Pinoy representative in the rowing division.
The rest of the lineup includes Hidilyn Diaz, pole-vaulter Ernest John Obiena, gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, and Irish Magno. They are all set to compete in Tokyo from July 23 to August 9, 2021. Araneta said that several Pinoy athletes are still vying to qualify for categories like taekwondo, karate, judo, and others.
The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, Japan is ready to open its borders to hold this special event for sports enthusiasts.
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.