THE highly-touted Philippine boxing team arrived in Japan almost a week before the formal opening of the Tokyo Olympics.
Eumir Marcial and coach Ronald Chavez were the first to check in at the Haneda Airport early Saturday morning after flying in from Colorado, where the World Championship silver medalist trained at the US Olympic Training Center for the past month.
A few moments later, the Filipino entourage from Thailand also arrived led by Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, world champion Nesthy Petecio, and coach Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco. The team camped in different parts of Thailand since March as part of their training.
The compact boxing delegation were welcomed at he Olympic Village by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) secretariat and Dr. Randy Molo of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) earlier held an online Mass and a fun fellowship as a fitting sendoff for the four boxers looking to win for the country its first ever Olympic gold medal.
Fr. Reynaldo Legayada OFM from Sapporo, Japan presided over the mass.
Boxing has the most number of entries out of the 19-man Filipino athletes competing in this Olympiad.
Pinoy boxers gear up for Tokyo Olympics
Others seeing action in Tokyo are world champion Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), US Women's Open golf champion Yuka Saso, 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and fellow weightlifter Elreen Ando, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and sprinter Kristina Knott, as well as the swimming duo of Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule.
Completing Team Philippines are taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, shooter Jayson Valdez, and the golfing duo of Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan.
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