Rogen Ladon qualifies for Rio Olympics after advancing to gold medal match in China
Rogen Ladon is the second Filipino athlete to book a place in the Olympics, joining sprinter Eric Cray. Photo from Singsoc / seagames2015.com

ROGEN Ladon of the Philippines defeated Devendro Singh Laishram of India via unanimous decision in the semifinals of the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qian’an, China on Thursday to claim a berth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Ladon got the nod of all three judges, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, to advance to the finals of the men’s light flyweight class.

More important, Ladon became the first Filipino boxer to clinch a spot in Rio De Janeiro by virtue of an assured top two finish in the Asia/Oceania qualification tournament.

Ladon, who came in the Olympic qualifiers as the top-seed, will take on Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan for the gold medal. Dusmatov downed Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag of Mongolia via unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.

The berth in the Olympics is a big accomplishment for Ladon, who only settled for a silver medal in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games just last June.

The Philippines has regularly qualified in the men's light flyweight class in boxing with Mansueto 'Onyok' Velasco winning a silver in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and brother Roel a bronze medal winner in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Danilo Lerio, Harry Tanamor and Mark Anthony Barriga also qualified as light flyweight in three previous Olympic games.

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