Our Filipino Olympians are ready for Rio
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 22, 2016 07:43 PM
"This is a very well prepared team, no matter what they say." -- Joey Romasanta, the Philippine delegation's chef de mission for the Rio Olympics (Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Twitter account).
Twelve of the Philippines' best athletes are prepared to represent the country in the upcoming Olympics.
The Pinoy athletes bound for Brazil have prepared the best way they can, according to Joey Romasanta, the Philippine delegation's chef de mission for the Rio Olympics.
"This is a very well prepared team, no matter what they say," Romasanta said.
Table tennis star Ian Lariba will be the flag bearer for the Philippines, alongside her are Marestella Torres for women's long jump, Eric Cray for the men's 400-meter hurdles, Mary Joy Tabal for the women's marathon, Miguel Tabuena for golf, Hidyln Diaz and Nestor Colonia for weightlifting, Kristine Alora for taekwondo, and Jasmin Alkaldi and Jessie Lacuna for swimming. Rounding out the 12-man roster are pugs Ladon Rogen and Charly Suarez.
Two Filipino golfers, Angele Que and Dotie Ardina, ended up withdrawing their qualifications to Rio because of the Zika virus which has already caused panic, causing Olympians from other nations to withdraw as well.
But Romasanta says that the Zika scare was just blown out of proportion, and that the World Health Oragnization and the International Olympic Committee have given local athletes the green light to compete.
"Unang-una yung Zika naman, medyo lumaki lang, kinda overblown. but we have been getting regular advisories from the WHO and the IOC who have consistently been giving briefing to the athletes," Romasanta said.
Romasanta also believes that athletes should not let the opportunity to represent the country pass.
"You’re actually passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity that might not happen, 'cause you might not be in the same condition again in the next Olympics. And how many athletes are going to Rio, but they’re not daunted and afraid? Sila (Kristine) Alora, (Ian) Lariba? Go sila eh, go sila. Eh ngayon pa? After what we’ve gone throuh? Too much of a sacrifice, tuloy na ito," affirms Romasanta.
But given that there are still 12 Filipinos heading to Rio, Romasanta says all they expect from the athletes is that they will do the best they can, quoting President Rogrido Duterte's inspirational message to the Olympians; 'he said "do your best and do what you can, and think about this --not everybody is given to opportunity to serve his country -- and this is our way to serve our country."
The Philippine delegation will head to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow, to get aclimated to the weather in Brazil, in time for the opening ceremonies on August 5.