A TOTAL of 56 athletes from 12 different sports will make up the Philippine team that will vie in the second Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China from August 16 to 24.
Nathaniel 'Tac' Padilla, chef-de-mission of the Philippine team to the quadrennial event, bared the lineup during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Padilla, who won countless medals for the country in rapid fire shooting, is confident the Filipino athletes can bring home a medal from Nanjing.
“We are facing a very tough field. But the commitment from our athletes is there. Let’s just hope they can all perform well,” the multi-titled shooter said.
The AYG, reserved for athletes born within the years 1996 until 1999, is expected to draw thousands of athletes from member countries of the Olympic Council of Asia.
It serves as a qualifying to the Youth Olympics scheduled in 2014 also in Nanjing.
The Philippines will compete in athletics, aquatics, basketball (3-on-3), badminton, fencing, golf, judo, rugby football 7s, tennis, table tennis, shooting and weightlifting. The Philippines has no entries in football, handball, and squash.
The Philippines competed in the first AYG in 2009 in Singapore and brought home a silver and a bronze courtesy of javelin thrower Stephanie Cimatu and bowler Colins Jose.
“Unfortunately, bowling is not included this time. So, we just lost a silver medal there,” said Padilla, who was only 12 when he won the gold in the 1976 World Junior Championships.
“But of course we will be aiming for the gold in Nanjing,” he added.
Padilla said there’s high hope in athletics, aquatics, rugby, basketball, golf, shooting or weightlifting but said he won’t be surprised if any athlete from the other sports would deliver.
“We really can’t say because it’s difficult to scout our opponents. There’s not much youth competitions to gather results from,” he said.
“I don’t want to put pressure on our young athletes but they must perform here. In shooting, if we win here they automatically qualify for the Youth Olympics,” the chef-de-mission said, adding all the athletes are now in training under their respective coaches.
“We are monitoring their training and trying to make sure they need all the help and the support they need,” he said.
The official lineup: Enrique Gazmin, Ma. Sophia Graciela Reyes and Angela Dimaculangan (shooting); Alyssa Ysabel Leonardo, Joella de Vera, Mark Shelley Alcala and Alvin Morada (badminton); Margaret Colinia and Elien Rose Perez (weightlifting); Jurence Zosimo Mendoza (tennis); Ryan Rodney Jacolo, Emy Rose Dael, Jamaica Dianne Sy and Vince Oliva (table tennis); Miam Salvador, Floyd Derek Rillera, Kiyomi Watanabe, Jann Ken Raquepo, Louise Ann Mei Baring and Renzo Miguel Cazenas (judo);
Kyla Richardson, Kayla Richardson, Mary Anthony Diesto and Emily Jean Obiena (athletics); Mauricio Sacho Ilustre, Roxanne Ashley Yu, Raphael Sta. Maria, Ariana Herranz, Jethro Roberts Chua, Jeremy Bryan Lim and Catherine Bondad (aquatics); Terry Boy Cayetano, Jonel Madrona, Kingsley Ballesteros, Greg George Maleval, Juliann Viktor Feleo, Joshua Whyte, Naimar Candelaria, Andrew Holgate, Albert Rano and Miguel Francis Ayala (rugby); Divine Romero, Christian Concepcion and Gerardo Hernandez (fencing); George Go, Patrick Ramirez, Ferdinand Ravena III, John Paul Caulian and Henri Lorenzo Subido (basketball) and Clare Legaspi, Bianca Isabel Pagdanganan, Princess Superal, Samantha Martirez, Gabriel Manotoc and Rupert Zaragosa (golf).