THE Philippines gets its first chance at a medal on Monday, July 25 with Hidilyn Diaz competing in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Diaz is going for the gold after taking silver in Rio de Janeiro, with action in the women’s -55kg division set at the Tokyo International Forum. The competition is at 7:50 p.m. (6:50 p.m. Manila time)
The 30-year-old Diaz is seen as one of the medal prospects of the Philippines in this Olympics which will formally fire off on Saturday.
Carlos Yulo, perhaps the best bet of the Philippines to win the gold, will actually compete on the day after the opening ceremony on Sunday, July 25 but in the qualification of the men’s all-around where no medal is at stake. If he makes it to the top 24, Yulo will return for the final on Wednesday, July 28 to vie for a medal.
Yulo is also expected to advance in the floor exercise apparatus, the event where he became a world champion in 2019. That final is on Sunday, August 1.
There are also gold medal chances in the final few days of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad with US Women's Open champion Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan competing from August 4 to 7 for the women’s individual stroke play.
Boxing finals are set on Saturday, August 7 and the Philippine Team will be hoping Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, and Carlo Paalam are still in action by that time. Meanwhile, Nesthy Petecio’s event will have the gold medal bout on August 3.
The pole vault final is on Tuesday, August 3, and it will be EJ Obiena's initial target in the qualifiers on Saturday, July 31.
Rower Cris Nievarez opens Team Philippines’ campaign in the Olympics in the men’s single sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway before the opening rites at the Olympic Stadium.
Aside from Yulo, also seeing action on Saturday are Kurt Barbosa in the taekwondo men’s 58kg at the Makahuri Messe Hall A, Remedy Rule of swimming in the women’s 100m butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, and Petecio of boxing in the women’s featherweight division at the Kokugikan Arena.
On Sunday, shooter Jayson Valdez will compete in the men’s 10m air rifle at the Asaka Shooting Range, while Magno begins her medal bid in the women’s flyweight division.
Apart from Diaz, Marcial will start his campaign in the men’s middleweight, and skateboarder Margielyn Didal will also be in action on Monday at the Ariake Sports Park.
Elreen Ando, another Filipina weightlifter, is scheduled on Tuesday in the women’s 64kg class, as Rule plunges in the pool again for the women’s 200-meter butterfly heats. Luke Gebbie will compete in the men’s 100m freestyle that day.
It will be a busy Tuesday for the Philippine delegation as Kiyomi Watanabe will also be on the mat for the judo women’s -63kg bouts at the Nippon Budakan.
Juvic Pagunsan opens the Philippine participation in golf, in the men’s individual stroke play for four rounds starting on July 29.
Gebbie will be back at the Tokyo Aquatics Center for the men’s 50m freestyle heats on July 30.
Trackster Kristina Knott aims to qualify in the semifinal of the 200-meter run on August 2, with the final set the following day.
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