Philippine delegation to Paris Olympics rises to 20 from 15

Philippine delegation to Paris Olympics rises to 20 from 15

Philippine delegation to Paris Olympics rises to 20 from 15

TWENTY and counting.

The Philippine delegation to the Paris Olympics jumped from 15 to 20 after golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina made the top 60 cutoff, swimmers Kayla Sanchez and Jarod Hatch claim spots via universality places and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe earning a continental quota.

A few more may also just end up making the Paris cut in track and field, among them hurdlers John Cabang Tolentino and Lauren Hoffman.

The five new addition joined a team composed of pole-vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, Aira Villegas and Hergie Bacyadan, gymnasts Carlos Yulo, Aleah Finnegan, Levi Ruivivar and Emma Malabuyo, weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, Elreen Ando and John Ceniza, rower Joanie Delgaco and fencer Sam Catantan.

The count surpassed the 19 Filipino athletes that competed in the 2021 Tokyo Games where the country struck its breakthrough Olympic gold medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz atop the two silvers and a bronze by Ms. Petecio, Messrs. Paalam and Marcial, respectively.

Ms. Pagdanganan was 35th while Ms. Ardina 55th in the International Golf Federation ranking, enough to be part of the 60 golfers seeing action in the French capital.

Ms. Sanchez and Mr. Hatch were both nominated by the Philippine Aquatics, Inc. as recipients of the universality places from World Athletics (WA) and would compete in the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

If the country’s request for additional events gets the nod from WA, Ms. Sanchez will have extra action in the 100m backstroke and Mr. Hatch in the 100m freestyle.

Ms. Watanabe, for her part, will be in her second consecutive Olympics in the women’s -63-kilogram section. — Joey Villar

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