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Saso, Pagdanganan qualifies in Tokyo Olympics

THE International Golf Federation (IGF) on Tuesday released the official 60-player line-up who qualified in the women’s golf competition in Tokyo Olympics set July 23 to August 13.

As expected, Yuka Saso, the country’s No.1 women’s player and reigning Women’s US Open champion, made it to the top 10 taking the No.9 ranking, while Bianca Pagdanganan placed at No.42.

“Congratulations Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan for qualifying to the Tokyo Olympics. Ipagmalaki ang #GalingngAtletangPilipino,” said PSC Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez.

Earlier, the IGF released the top 60 players in the men’s competition and Juvic Pagunsan, who topped the Mizuno Open in the Japan Golf Tour, made history as the oldest Pinoy to compete in the Tokyo Games as he placed No.49. He was 43-year-old

“Nagagalak po kami at nadagdagan ang ating pro golfers na nakapasok sa Olympics. Ikinararangal po kayo ng sambayanan at kasama kami sa dalangin ng bayan para sa inyong tagumpay,” said GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra.

The PSC is the government sports agency in amateur sports, while GAB was tasked to handle the professional athletes and leagues.

“We have a pretty good chance,” said Oliver Gan, GAB consultant in golf.

This is the second straight Olympics since the return of golf as regular sports in the quadrennial Games that Filipino golfers would test mettle against the world best players. In 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Miguel Tabuena and Angelo Que have played in the inaugural golf competition since 1904.

Aside to the three golfers, the Philippine delegation is also made up of pole vaulter Ernest Obiena; gymnast Carlos Yulo; boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, and Carlo Paalam. Also in the team are Olympics silver medalist weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando; skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe,  shooter Jayson Valdez and trackster Kristina Knott.

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