At least 19 Filipino athletes to vie in Tokyo Olympics
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will have at least 19 athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8.
Golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdangan have joined men’s qualifier Juvic Pagunsan in the quadrennial event as they kept their places in the top 60 who will compete in the women’s event set August 4-7 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.
According to the updated Rolex ranking, where the Olympic qualification ranking was largely based on, Saso was at No. 8 thanks mostly to her historic triumph in the US Women’s Open.
For Pagdanganan, her qualification was confirmed through her mother Bing’s recent Instagram post.
The International Golf Federation was set to release the final list last night but the current Olympic ranking of Yuka (No. 9) and Pagdanganan (No. 42) should more or less keep them in their places.
If there would be changes, it could happen in the top three since newly installed Women’s PGA winner Nelly Korda is tipped to zoom to the top and bump off Koreans Jin Young Ko and In Bee Park to second and third.
Two more slots, meanwhile, were allotted to the country in swimming via universality rule that should hike the country’s total to 19, the most since the country fielded in 20 in the 2000 Sydney Games.
FINA or International Swimming Federation would release all the names of the official qualifiers tomorrow.
At present, Luke Gebbie, who pocketed a silver and a bronze in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, and Remedy Rule, a three-silver, two-bronze SEA Games winner, has the best chance to get the two Olympic berths based on the points they earned.
SEA Games gold medal winner James Deiparine and two-time Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi also have an opportunity to make it to Tokyo.
Gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, lifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando, rower Cris Nievarez, jin Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margie Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and sprinter Kristina Knott are the country’s other Olympic qualifiers.