Philippine Olympic team

PH sends ‘most prepared, strongest’ Olympic delegation to Tokyo, says PSC chief

Beatrice Go
PH sends ‘most prepared, strongest’ Olympic delegation to Tokyo, says PSC chief

TOP MEDAL BETS. Hidilyn Diaz (left) and Carlos Yulo are the country's top medal bets in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Hidilyn Diaz's Instagram

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez believes that this batch of Filipino Olympians can deliver the Philippines' first Olympic gold

Even the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is pinning its Olympic gold hopes on this Tokyo 2020 delegation.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the government sports agency’s increased financial support for the Filipino athletes from the 2016 Rio Olympics should bear fruit in the delayed quadrennial meet.

Grabe ang binuhos ng government sa foreign exposure and foreign coaches (The government shelled out a lot on foreign exposure and foreign coaches),” said Ramirez in an online press conference on Monday, July 19.

“So I think this is the most prepared and strongest delegation to the Olympics.”

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The PSC is supporting the teams of top medal bets like 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

Diaz, who will be seeing action in her fourth straight Olympics, brought her coaches and support crew, Team HD, to Tokyo after training in Malaysia since March 2020.

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Yulo has been training in Japan under the tutelage of Munehiro Kugimiya, who brought the 4-foot-11 dynamo to Tokyo in 2016 after his coaching stint in the Philippines.

After training with multi-titled mentor Vitaly Petrov in Formia, Italy since 2014, Obiena is now competing with the world’s best pole vaulters and is seeded sixth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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Weightlifters Diaz and Elreen Ando, the Philippine boxing team, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, tankers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule, and shooter Jayson Valdez have arrived in Tokyo.

Tokyo-based Yulo has checked in the athletes’ village.

Ramirez and PSC chief of staff Marc Velasco are expected to fly out on Thursday, July 22.

The PSC chairman is set to meet with Philippine ambassador to Japan Jose Castillo Laurel V to discuss about supporting the Filipino athletes especially in cases of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.