All Filipino Tokyo Olympians will go home with a bonus for competing in the country’s all-time best campaign in the quadrennial meet.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced that in partnership with tycoon Manny Pangilinan’s MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF), non-medalists will receive P500,000 each.
“The non-medalists in the Tokyo Olympics will receive incentives of P500,000 each,” said Tolentino on Thursday, August 5, as the Philippine medal campaign boiled down to boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Carlo Paalam and golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso.
The athletes who ended their Tokyo Olympics campaign without a medal include rowing’s Cris Nievarez, taekwondo’s Kurt Barbosa, skateboarding’s Margielyn Didal, shooting’s Jayson Valdez, gymnastics’ Carlos Yulo, boxing’s Irish Magno, judo’s Kiyomi Watanabe, weightlifting’s Elreen Ando, golf’s Juvic Pagunsan, athletics’ EJ Obiena (pole vault) and Kristina Knott (200m run), and swimmers Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie.
Yulo, the 2019 world gymnastics champion on floor exercise, narrowly missed claiming an Olympic medal when he settled for fourth place in the vault finals.
“Everyone on Team Philippines in these ‘Golden Olympics’ deserves all the praises, and in this case, incentives, they need,” Tolentino said. “Qualifying for the Olympics is already that difficult, what more competing in the Games themselves.”
Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first Olympic gold medal in women’s weightlifting, while Nesthy Petecio made history as the first Filipina boxer to clinch a silver in the women’s featherweight event, which made its debut in the Tokyo Games.
Both have been raking millions worth of incentives from the government and private sector, with Diaz’s cash reward already running at P52.5 million on top of other rewards.
Petecio has also been promised to get P17 million in cash alongside other rewards like residential properties and free flights.
Marcial and Paalam secured at least a bronze medal finish, but are still aiming to reach the gold-medal bouts of their respective events. Bronze winners also have guaranteed cash incentives.
Paalam will be facing home bet Ryomei Tanaka in the men’s flyweight semifinal, while Marcial will go against Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzniak in the men’s middleweight semis on Thursday, August 5.
Golfers Pagdanganan and Saso opened their first round on Wednesday, and have three more rounds to rise up the leaderboard of the women’s golf tournament. – Rappler.com