Paris Olympics

Pacquiao too old for Paris Games, says Olympic body

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Pacquiao too old for Paris Games, says Olympic body 

HARD AT WORK. Manny Pacquiao in training.

Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

The International Olympic Committee thumbs down the Philippines’ request to include boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in its 2024 Paris Games roster

MANILA, Philippines – Too old for the Olympics.

There will be no Manny Pacquiao in the 2024 Paris Games as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially turned down the Philippines’ request to include the Filipino boxing icon in its roster. 

In a released statement, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said on Sunday, February 18, that the IOC thumbed down the appeal, citing the 40-year-old age limit for Olympic athletes.

“Too bad our beloved boxing icon is disqualified because of his age and that everyone needs to go through qualifiers, in all sports, to be able to participate in Paris,” said POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino. 

James McLeod, IOC director for National Olympic Committee Relations, responded to the POC, noting that the 45-year-old Pacquiao failed to meet the age limit in Olympic qualifying events.

Aside from the qualifiers, the POC had hoped Pacquiao, who retired in 2021, would be up for Olympic consideration via the Universality rule – special slots the IOC grants to underrepresented countries.

But McLeod said Universality slots are only awarded to countries with less than eight representatives in the last two editions of the Olympics. 

The Philippines had 19 athletes in the Tokyo Games in 2021, with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz capturing the country’s first Olympic gold and boxers Carlo Paalam (silver), Nesthy Petecio (silver), and Eumir Marcial (bronze) picking up medals.

Last year, Pacquiao said an Olympic stint remains as the only missing achievement in his stellar career.

“From the beginning, I went to Manila to be part of the Philippine team, but I wasn’t picked, I was rejected… because they said I was not good,” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division champion, said in a previous interview.

“My heart and desire is to claim a gold medal in the Olympics.”

Four Filipinos already earned slots in the Paris Games this July – world No. 2 pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, and boxer Eumir Marcial – with more athletes vying for berths through qualifiers in the coming months.  –

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