MANILA, Philippines — PLDT chairman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan believes the Philippines has a strong chance of striking gold in the Tokyo Olympics should it push through as scheduled in July.
“I think they have a decent and good chance that some of them will win the gold finally and we can only pray,” said Pangilinan during a TV5 interview aired at Cignal TV’s “The Chasedown” Saturday.
The man popularly known as MVP is basing his optimism on the country closing in on surpassing the country’s 13-man delegation in the 2016 Rio Olympics as it now has nine qualifiers at present with several more expected to earn spots soon.
Those who have already secured slots were pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, rower Cris Nievarez and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa.
Also expected to claim seats are golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, skateboarder Margie Didal, sprinter Kristina Knott, two swimmers via universality rule, and karatekas Junna Tsukii, Jamie Lim and Joane Orbon.
Also in the hunt for Olympic spots are cyclist Patrick Coo and the national surfers and archers, who are plunging into action in their qualifying tournaments in the next few weeks.
And that is why MVP is hoping the Olympics will not be called off despite some concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s good for it to push through because I’ve always held a view that you can’t allow an external force like these vaccines to drive your life,” said MVP. “I hope the Olympics will continue, I wish our athletes all the best.”
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com