THE Philippine campaign in the Tokyo Olympics is locked, loaded and ready to fire with 19 athletes all geared up for the greatest competition of their lives and the entire delegation secured of its more than three-week stay in the Japanese capital.
“In three weeks, the urn in Tokyo will be burning and Team Philippines—from the athletes and coaches down to the secretariat are ready for action,” Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Thursday.
Chef de Mission Mariano Araneta will lead a first batch of officials which will be flying to Tokyo via Narita Airport on July 15 and will head directly to Conrad Hotel, Team Philippines’ official home during the July 23 to August 28 games.
Joining Araneta are team doctor Randy Molo, POC general manager and Secondary Olympic Attache Dinah Remolacio, Covid-19 Covid-19 Liaison Officer (CLO) chief Atty. Billy Sumagui, Games Management Officer and Secondary CLO Martin Gregorio and Protocol Officer and Secondary Activity Monitoring Officer Jarryd Bello.
“The POC and the Philippine Sports Commission [PSC] secured the Conrad Hotel just in time and we’re glad that has been accomplished,” Tolentino said. “In terms of administrative and secretariat matters, we’re all settled.”
The PSC transferred on Thursday P11 million for the accommodation expense of Team Philippines from the total P48 million earmarked for participation. The entire PSC budget for the Olympic campaign is pegged at P200 million.
The athletes will also arrive in Tokyo in batches depending upon their competition schedule.
Swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule made it to the Nationals Team via universality rule.
In an official letter dated July 1, 2021, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) informed Philippine Swimming Incorporated president Lani Velasco that Gebbie and Rule, both US-based and 24 year-old, got the invitation after getting the highest point for Filipino swimmers.
Gebbie accumulated 828 FINA points while Rule had 830. PSI submitted their names last June 20.
“We congratulate the two swimmers for making it to the Philippine Olympic team,” said PSI president Lani Velasco. “We thank them for their continuing dedication and sacrifice to serve our country well and we wish them all the best at the coming Olympic Games!”
Gebbie will compete in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle while Rule will take part in the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle events.
The Tokyo Olympics-bound Filipinos are golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margie Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, runner Kristina Knott, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam.