MANILA – Philippine Olympic Committee chairperson and former Bacolod City congressman Monico Puentevella yesterday told Manila-based sportswriters that the chance of bringing home a medal from the London Olympics is very slim.
“Don't expect any medal,” he said at the weekly SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session in Manila when asked about the 11-athlete Philippine delegation to the Games in London that will open on July 27.
“Sixteen years is, indeed, too long for us to win another Olympic medal, but, like in our immediate past participation, I'm sorry to say that among the 11 athletes we are sending to London only a few who we can say we have a slim chance for one,” Puentevella said.
“But, miracles do happen, so let's just hope and pray that one of the 11 athletes we are sending can be blessed to at least bring home a medal of any color,” he said.
“All the athletes we are fielding earned their respective place in the team and have prepared enough, in the hope of bringing home honors for the country,” Puentevella added.
“Let me just say that this contingent, one of the smallest in our country's Olympic participation, will be out there fighting, if not to win medal, but to win goodwill for the county,” he said.
Puentevella cited Fil-Am BMX mountain rider Daniel Caluag as to have the brightest hope of landing in the medal standing in view of his ranking in the world while representing the United States in several world championships he has so far participated in.
He also mentioned skeet shooter Brian Rosario, archers Mark Javier and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz as to have chances of figuring out in the fight for medals in their respective sports.
“As for Hidilyn, who is ranked 6th in the world, well, we in the PWA are actually preparing her for the next Olympics in 2016,” the POC chairman said.
“She was an Olympian four years ago at age 16, now she's only 22, so maybe four years from now she will be ready to really compete with the best in the world,” he said.
The POC chair noted that Mark Anthony Barriga and Fil-Japanese judoka Tomohiko Hoshina will need luck in the draw to advance into the next rounds and, perhaps, into the medal plays.
Long jumper Maristella Torres, distance runner Rene Herrera and swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jesse King Lacuna rounded out the PHL contingent.*PNA
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