Philippine Olympic team

POC chief Tolentino expects Philippines to surpass Tokyo Olympics glory

Beatrice Go
POC chief Tolentino expects Philippines to surpass Tokyo Olympics glory

MORE MEDALS. Bambol Tolentino hopes that more athletes will see action and win in the next Olympic editions.

Edgard Garrido/REUTERS

POC president Bambol Tolentino believes there are many Filipino athletes within 'striking distance' of a medal in future Olympic Games

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is very optimistic of the country’s chances in the next Paris 2024 Games.

With the country’s best Olympic run in the books, Tolentino hopes that this will inspire the whole nation that Philippines sports is on the rise.

Malaking inspirasyon ito after 97 years na nagsimula ang Olympics. Well Paris, dapat tuloy-tuloy lang tayo sa programa and suporta. [Hindi lang natin matapatan], siguro mahigitan pa natin,” said the POC chief.

(This became a big inspiration, especially that it happened after 97 years since we started joining the Olympics. Well in Paris, hopefully the programs and the support will continue. We’ll aim not just to match it, but to surpass it.)

The Philippines nailed its best performance in the Olympic Games bannered by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal and the three-medal haul of Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio (silver), Carlo Paalam (silver) and Eumir Marcial (bronze).

This became the country’s largest Olympic medal haul of all time as it surpassed the three-medal haul in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

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But aside from showing the world that Filipino athletes can win big in the Olympic Games, Tolentino also said the country had many athletes who were within “striking distance” of a podium finish right in their maiden Olympic debut.

Dahil marami namang nandiyan lang sa striking distance bukod diyan sa boxers and sa weightlifting. May kasama pang ibang boxers (Irish Magno) and ibang weightlifters, si (Elreen) Ando,” shared Tolentino.

Nandoon sila (gymnast Carlos) Yulo, nandoon sila athletics, sa golf, sa last round lang pinakita. Kung binigyan pa ng isang round iyon, [baka panalo na si Yuka Saso].

(There are a lot of athletes within striking distance aside from the boxers and weightlifters. The other boxers like Irish Magno and weightlifter Elreen Ando, Carlos Yulo, athletes in athletics, golf had a chance in the last round. Maybe given another round, Yuka Saso would’ve won.)

World champion gymnast Yulo narrowly missed the men’s vault podium at fourth place.

Magno exited in the women’s flyweight round of 16 as Thai rival Jutamas Jitpong avenged her Southeast Asian (SEA) Games loss to the Filipino, while Ando finished seventh in the final of the women’s 64kg event, while

World No. 6 pole vaulter EJ Obiena finished 11th in the final, and US Women’s Open champion Saso mounted a huge comeback from 47th place in the opening round to crash into the top 10 of the women’s golf tournament.

The POC president also hopes to see more sports and Filipino athletes make it to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Marami pang ibang sports na hindi pa nag-qualify na nakahanda lang para sa qualification, baka madagdagan pa. Hopefully God-willing, magtuloy-tuloy lang ang programa ng different NSA and POC with the help of the national government and the private sectors,” said Tolentino.

(There are a lot of sports that haven’t qualified, but they have prepared for qualification. Hopefully the delegation will expand and God-willing, the programs of the national sports associations, POC will continue with the help of the national government and private sectors.)

After the quadrennial meet, the Philippines is set to see action in a packed 2022 schedule that includes the delayed Vietnam SEA Games, Asian Games, and Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. –

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.