Canoe-kayak, triathlon, rowing bets begin hunt for Tokyo Olympic berth
MANILA, Philippines – Olympic hopefuls from canoe-kayak, triathlon and rowing brace for their respective qualifying tournaments for a shot at a spot in the Tokyo Games set 100 days from today.
Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Hermie Macaranas, silver medal winner Ojay Fuentes and John Paul Selencio are scheduled to leave the country early Saturday for the 2021 Canoe Slalom Asian Olympic Qualifier set April 30 to May 2 in Pattaya, Thailand.
For them to qualify, they need to win the event or rank No. 1 in Asia.
“This is our one last chance to qualify so our paddlers our giving it all and hoping against hope we’ll make it,” said national team coach Len Escollante, who is scheduled for COVID-19 testing with the rest of the team today.
Also eyeing Tokyo slots are Kim Mangrobang, Andrew Kim Remolino and Fernando Jose Casares, who will see action in the Asian Triathlon Championships, which will serve as the sport’s Olympic qualifying race set April 24-25 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.
Mangrobang, a 2019 SEAG double gold medalist, will come from Desmor, Portugal where she is currently training, Remolino from Cebu and Casares from Laguna.
Rower Melcah Jen Caballero, for her part, will spearhead the team of Joanie Delgaco, Cris Nievares, Zuriel Sumintac and Roque Abala competing in the Asia and Oceania Continental Qualification Regatta scheduled May 5-7 in Tokyo, Japan.
Of the country’s rowing bets, Caballero, a double gold medal winner in the 2019 SEAG, is the country’s best bet to land a Tokyo seat after a solid fourth place effort in the online 2021 World Indoor Rowing Championship last February.
All these athletes are seeking to join gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam in the quadrennial event.