SPORTS Illustrated finally came out with its highly-awaited medal predictions on all sports for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
To no one's surprise, no one among the Filipino athletes, including best bets Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, made it to the list of the prestigious sports media franchise.
Both Ladon and Suarez were left behind in the choices of potential medalists – from gold, silver, to bronze – in their respective weight categories in the boxing competition.
The 22-year-old Ladon from Bago, Negros Occidental, is fighting in the 49 kg. class, while the 27-year-old Suarez from Sawata, Davao del Norte, is entered in the 60 kg. weight.
SI sees both weight being topped by Cuban fighters in Joahny’s Argilagos (light-flyweight) and Lazaro Alvarez (bantamweight).
Of course, the medal prediction wasn't always accurate as was the case in the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Fil-Am Brian Viloria was SI’s overwhelming choice to win the light-flyweight gold as member of the US boxing team. He never made it to the podium round as he lost to eventual gold winner Brahim Asloum of France in the second round.
Even in taekwondo, the other combat sports where the country is a potential medal bet, Kirstie Alora wasn’t in the SI radar, which counts on Zheng Shuyin of China as its top bet in the women’s 67+ kg class.
Alora’s first round opponent, Maria Espinoza of Mexico, incidentally, is picked to win the silver followed by Jackie Galloway (US) and Bianca Walkden (Great Britain).
In women’s table tennis, Ian Lariba is likewise overlooked as the Chinese tandem of Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia are the prohibitive 1-2 favorites.
In Ladon’s weight class, Russian Vasily Yegorov is seen as possible silver medalist, while behind him are Paddy Barnes of Ireland and Hsanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan.
Suarez’s division has Berik Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan favored to win silver by SI, and Robson Conceicao of Brazil and Azerbaijan’s Albert Semilov tipped to win bronze.