Tokyo Olympics

Fabulous 50: Philippines nets best Olympic ranking in 3 decades

Delfin Dioquino

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Fabulous 50: Philippines nets best Olympic ranking in 3 decades

FILIPINO MEDALISTS. Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial, and Carlo Paalam bring pride to the country following their exploits in Tokyo.

Edgard Garrido (Diaz), Luis Robayo/Reuters (Petecio), Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters (Marcial), and Luis Robayo/Reuters (Paalam)

The Philippines produces its first-ever gold on top of two silvers and one bronze to share the 50th spot with Slovakia

Buoyed by a historic gold-medal win by Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines concluded its Tokyo Olympics stint at joint 50th place for its best Summer Games finish in three decades.

Out of the 19 athletes it sent to Tokyo, the country produced its first-ever gold, two silvers, and one bronze for a total of four medals, sharing the 50th spot with Slovakia.

It is the Philippines’ highest Olympic ranking since the 1988 Seoul Games, where the country landed at 46th place courtesy of a bronze by boxer Leopoldo Serrantes.

The country finished at 53rd and 61st places in the next two Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996, respectively.

A medal drought followed in the 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympics.

The Philippines snapped its 20-year medal dry spell in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games thanks to a silver by weightlifting star Diaz as the country wound up at 69th place in the medal table.

Five years later, Diaz ended the Philippines’ near century-long quest for an Olympic gold after topping the inaugural women’s 55kg class in Tokyo.

Her landmark feat invigorated her fellow Filipinos, with boxers Nesthy Petecio (women’s featherweight silver), Carlo Paalam (men’s flyweight silver), and Eumir Marcial (men’s middleweight bronze) also securing podium finishes for the Philippines’ biggest medal haul in Olympic history.

The Filipinos’ four-medal harvest in Tokyo eclipsed the Philippines’ three-medal yield in the 1932 Los Angeles Games, where the country experienced its best Olympic standing at 25th place.

Also, the country wrapped up the Tokyo Games as the best performing Southeast Asian nation, besting Indonesia and Thailand.

Indonesia garnered more medals with five but ended up at 55th place overall with one gold, one silver, and three bronzes, with the Philippines getting the edge by virtue of winning more silver medals.

Thailand bagged one gold and one bronze for joint 59th place.

Meanwhile, the United States topped the medal table for the third straight Olympics with a 39 gold-41 silver-33 bronze haul for a total of 113 medals, nosing out China, which amassed a 38 gold-32 silver-18 bronze tally for a total of 88 medals.

Host Japan collected a 27 gold-14 silver-17 bronze haul for a total of 58 medals for third place. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.