Olympics: PH contingent chief looking to send at least 15 athletes to Tokyo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2020 06:38 PM

A symbol installed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on a barge is moved away from its usual spot by tugboats off the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. The five Olympic rings floating on a barge in Tokyo Bay were removed for what is being called “maintenance,” and officials say they will return to greet next year's Games. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and are to open on July 23, 2021. The Paralympics follow on Aug. 24. Hiro Komae, AP

The Philippines' chef de mission to the Tokyo Olympics said national officials are looking to send at least 15 athletes to the Japan Games next year.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo, Mariano "Nonong" Araneta described that number is ideal.

"There are 15 sports. These include rowing, canoe-kayak, archery, fencing, athletics, golf, karate, judo, triathlon, boxing, weightlifting (and) skateboarding," Araneta said.

"So 15 (athletes) is a good figure."

Four Filipinos have qualified so far -- Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno in boxing, Carlos Yulo in gymnastics, and pole-vaulter EJ Obiena.

Other athletes who have a shot at going to Tokyo are: Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, athletics' Kyla Richardson and Willie Morrison, cyclists Ariana Dormitorio and Daniel Caluag, and boxer Nesthy Petecio.

Araneta said he has been in talks with various sports federations, so they can submit to the national COVID-19 task force training guidelines intended for the Olympic hopefuls.

According to Araneta, officials expect Olympic qualifiers to resume in 2021. He added that they want the athletes to prepare as early as possible.

"We want them to train 'yung Olympics na muna... Hopefully these athletes can qualify for the Olympics," Araneta said.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).