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MANILA, Philippines – Two champions will serve as the Philippines’ flag bearers in the Asian Games.
Skateboarder Margielyn Didal and pole vaulter EJ Obiena are tasked with carrying the flag during the opening ceremony of the continental tiff that will run from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, China.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced the news on Monday, September 18, during the send-off for athletes at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay.
Didal is eyeing a second straight Asian Games gold as she looks to defend her title in the women’s street event she ruled five years ago in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Cebuana emerged as one of the Philippines’ four gold medalists in the 2018 edition, joining weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, and Lois Kaye Go.
Obiena, meanwhile, is gunning for a breakthrough Asian Games crown as he improved by leaps and bounds since his seventh-place finish in Jakarta.
Currently ranked second in the world, Obiena is the heavy favorite in the quadrennial showpiece as he flies to Hangzhou fresh from a silver-clinching vault in the Diamond League Final in Eugene, USA over the weekend.
Tolentino hopes Obiena and Didal will deliver, with the Philippines looking to surpass its 19th-place finish in Jakarta, where it also bagged two silvers and 15 bronzes for a total of 21 medals.
Competing in 40 sports, 396 athletes will represent the country in the 19th edition of the Asian Games. – Rappler.com