Philippine Olympic delegation taking shape
With boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez booking their seats to the 2016 Rio Summer Games this August, that hikes the Philippines’ contingent to 5 according the Philippine Olympic Committee First Vice President Joey Romasanta. The other two are athletics’ Eric Cray and golfer Miguel Tabuena.
“Due to the Olympics universality rule that applies only to athletics and swimming, a country can receive a berth in men and women’s categories,” added Romasanta. “This it to increase gender participation and awareness for the sport.”
"In the case of athletics, we aren’t sure yet if it is Kalya Richardson or Marestella Torres who will given that slot,” clarified the POC’s spokesperson.
Other potential athletes who could make the Philippine delegation to Rio include swimmers Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi, golfer Angelo Que, trap shooter Hagen Topacio, and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia.
“We could also add a few more from taekwondo when the Asian-Oceanian Qualifiers take place this April,” pointed out Romasanta. “We could possibly have a minimum of 12 or even go as high as 16. It will be even more clear in the next few weeks.”
The POC’s voice made mention that Topacio should have automatically qualified already after he hurdled the minimum qualifying mark of 112 by in the Asian Shooting Championships held in Kuwait in November of 2015. Topacio, who earned a silver medal in the competition, finished with a score of 122.
However, the International Olympic Committee pulled out its recognition of the event after event organizers did not allow the participation of an Israeli shooter.
The next qualifier was in New Delhi, India, however, Topacio was unable to compete.
“An appeal letter was filed to the International Shooting Sport Federation,” bared Romasanta, “and from what I understand, it was well received. So that is a good sign. We’ll see what happens but I am positive about the outcome of the appeal."
“This coming May, there is a regional meeting in Bangkok for all Asian countries who will compete in Rio. By then, more or less, we know who is going and who isn’t.
"That is the last meeting with the IOC before the Olympics as there are many administrative concerns from are we allowed a team doctor or not to accreditation of athletes and coaches in the Athletes’ Village."
"In the case of golf, a caddy is allowed to join the golfer but by the same token, the caddy isn’t allowed to stay in the Athletes’ Village," he added. "That presents its own set of problems. But a lot of that will be clear come May. Right now, let’s hope that more athletes of our will qualify for Rio." – Rappler.com