PH athletes headed to Paris Olympics yet to be finalized

Thirteen Filipinos are “technically” going to the Paris Olympics with 12 more hoping to qualify for Team Philippines that is celebrating its 100th year participation in the Games.

Further, The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has formalized negotiations with a month-long training camp in a world-class facility at Les Arenas Metz in La Moselle ahead of the July 26 to August 11.

Chef de mission Jonvic Remulla, POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and secretary-general Atty. Wharton Chan. [PR photo]
Chef de mission Jonvic Remulla, POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and secretary-general Atty. Wharton Chan. [PR photo]

“We have as of now qualified 13 athletes for Paris,” POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino told the First POC Journey to Olympic Briefing at the Milky Way Restaurant in Makati City on Friday, April 12.

Nine athletes are going to Paris by direct qualification—pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas, weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, Erleen Ann Ando and John Febuar Ceniza, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.

A fourth weightlifter, Rosegie Ramos, according to Tolentino, is technically qualified in women’s 49 kgs class despite winding up No. 11 in the world rankings after the Phuket qualifiers last month.

“A Belgian [Niña Sterckx] ranks No. 7 in Rosegie’s class, but she lacks the mandatory six qualifiers for Paris, and according to weightlifting’s international federation, Rosegie’s technically qualified,” said Tolentino, who was joined in the briefing by Chef de Mission to Paris, Cavite Governor nvic Remulla, and secretary-general Atty. Wharton Chan.

The 12th and 13th qualifiers, Tolentino said, are Kyla Sanchez and Jarrod Hatch, who are guaranteed berths in swimming under the universality rule.

The potential qualifiers are Robyn Brown (athletics), Kurt Barbosa (taekwondo), Cris Nievarez (rowing), Joanie Delgaco (rowing), brothers Keisei and Shugen Nakano (judo), Yuta Watanabe (judo), Jericho Francisco (skateboarding), Patrick Coo (BMX cycling), Shagne Yaoyao (MTB cycling), Emma Malabuyo (gymnastics), Bianca Pagdanganan (golf) and Carlo Paalam (boxing), Criz Laurente (boxing), Hergie Bacyadan (boxing) and Rogen Ladon (boxing).

Tolentino also announced Cignal as the official sponsor of the Les Arenas Metz training camp Peak as the official apparel also for the camp and pre-Olympic preparations, with Smart and Standard Insurance as major backers.

Tolentino said that the Les Arenas Metz training camp is a first in POC history.

“This is the first time that our Olympians are immersing themselves in the host city of the Olympics for a month,” he said.

National sports associations whose athletes are still qualifying for Paris also attended the briefing.

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