MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Olympic Committee is saddened by the fact that boxing, a perennial source of medals in major international competitions, has failed to qualify an athlete to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in August.
“I really don’t know what happened,” said POC vice president Jose Romasanta during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
The YOG is set Aug. 14 to 28 in Nanjing, China where around 3,600 athletes from 204 countries are expected to compete for the 222 gold medals in 28 sports disciplines.
The Philippines only has eight qualifiers to the event with a handful more from track and field, golf, swimming, shooting and taekwondo trying to catch the last bus.
Those assured of YOG tickets are archers Luis Gabriel Moreno and Bianca Cristina Gotuaco, artistic gymnast Ava Loren Verdeflor, triathlete Victorija Evania Deldio and 3-on-3 basketball’s Kobe Paras, Manuel Mosqueda III, John Paul Cauilan and Amando San Juan II.
Romasanta said it’s surprising that no Filipino boxer made it through the lone YOG qualifying event, the AIBA World Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria last April.
The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines sent a team to Bulgaria, composed of Dannel Maamo, Presco Carcosia Jr., Sammy Bernabe Jr. and Hipolito Banal Jr., the only one who made it past the opening round.
Ed Picson, ABAP executive director, said they were as sad as the others that they failed to qualify an athlete to Nanjing.
“It happens in boxing. The opposition was tough,” he said of the Bulgaria event that drew the top 520 boxers all over the world aged 17 to 18.
Only six boxers from each category earned slots to the YOG.
“We did our best,” said Picson.