RIO DE JANEIRO — The Philippines got a pleasant surprise when Filipino-Japanese judoka Kodo Nakano got a late invitation to take part in the 2016 Olympics Games.
Nakano became the 13th Filipino athlete to earn a ticket to the Games, according to Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president Joey Romasanta, after a judoka from Iran backed out at the last minute.
Romasanta said the invitation of Nakano from the international federation of judo was received on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) - three days before the opening of the Summer Games.
“Only yesterday was Dave Carter (president of Philippine Judo Federation) and the parents of Nakano were informed about the invitation by the international federation of judo because of the withdrawal of Iran.
“But by virtue of the withdrawal of Iran, Nakano became a substitute player,” Romasanta said.
Nakano will arrive here on August 5 and will compete in the +81kg division starting on August 9.
The 26-year-old Nakano has competed for the Philippines in previous events including the 2013 World Judo Championship held, incidentally, in Rio De Janeiro.