DEPUTY Speaker Mikee Romero lauded the shooter Jayson Valdez for qualifying for next month’s Tokyo Olympics, saying his time has finally come to make a difference.
“I have known him since his teenage days because he was part of my youth team when I was still the president of the shooting association. So happy Jayson finally fulfilled his dream as an athlete,” said the 1-Pacman representative. “I wish him and the rest of Team PH the best of luck.”
Having seen some of Valdez’s likely rivals being part of the PH delegation to the 2012 London Games, Romero advised the 25-year-old Valdez to stay focused and determined on his goals.
“Since he’ll be playing for flag and country he has to give everything he’s got and should not be intimidated by his rivals,” added Romero. “But I know this young man, he’s gutsy.”
“Pinoy tayo, dapat nating ipakita sa buong mundo na we have one big fighting heart.” added Romero, who played twice for the PH shotgun team in the World Cup.
Romero said Valdez will be up against a bevy of top European shooters in the men’s air rifle 10-meter contest, including three-time champion Niccolo Camprian of Italy.
Believing this year is the country’s best chance to end the long search for the elusive Olympic gold, Romero called on the country’s sports leaders to give Valdez all the support he needs given his limited time to prepare for the Games.
Valdez became the 12th Filipino athlete to qualify to the Tokyo Games – thanks to the quota system implemented by the Munich-based International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
The last Filipino shooter to compete in the Olympics was Brian Rosario during the 2012 London Games.
The 11 other Filipino qualifiers are boxers Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Bryan Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Erleen Ann Ando.
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