RIO DE JANEIRO — Skipping school and training by himself are just a few of the sacrifices Jessie Khing Lacuna made to get back to the Olympics.
Lacuna is seeing action in his second Olympic Games here after also making it four years ago in London.
Before getting the callup for Rio, however, he had to make tough choices.
A member of the Ateneo varsity squad, the 22-year-old Pulilan, Bulacan native decided to take a leave in the second semester to focus on his goal to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
“I had to sacrifice my school. I didn’t enroll nung second semester just to focus on qualifying for Rio,” said Lacuna.
Lacuna went to Australia, learning to live by himself while training.
“I went to Australia by myself. I was there for three months. Mahirap especially mag-isa ka,” said Lacuna.
The Filipino tanker made the Olympic Selection Times in multiple events, and was given a universiality place for one. With a three-minute, 35.34 second clocking, he is listed to see action in the 400-meter freestyle.
“I think it paid off naman when I knew I’ll be going to Rio,” said Lacuna.
Knowing the quality of competition in Rio, Lacuna is aiming for the best, looking at shattering his personal best time and hopefully make it to at least in the top 30.
“Just to get the best time, I’m happy. Luckily, if I get the top 20 or top 30, it’s going to be a bonus,” said Lacuna.