MANILA, Philippines - Archers Rachel Cabral and Mark Javier, well-coached, highly equipped and fully motivated, will fire the opening shots for the Philippines in the coming London Olympics.
The two Filipino archers, who made it to the London Games following their good showings in the recent World Archery Championships in Utah, will see action on July 27.
Cabral, a first-time Olympian, and Javier, a veteran of the 2008 Beijing Games, will be in the qualifying rounds in the opening day of the world's biggest sporting event.
They will shoot 72 arrows from a distance of 70 meters, each one of them hoping to advance to the next rounds of their individual events on July 30 and 31 and Aug. 1.
If they go far, the finals will be on Aug. 3.
Next to plunge into action for the Philippines is swimmer Jessie King Lacuna who will compete in the qualifying heats of the men's 200 freestyle on July 29.
Shotgun shooter Brian Rosario will carry some high expectations when he vies in the men's skeet event on July 30. If he does well, he moves on to the finals the following day.
Rosario is the hottest shooter in the country today, recently averaging scores good enough to win a medal even in the Olympics.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, another veteran of the Beijing Olympics and the flag bearer for Team Philippines in London, will try to make her presence felt on July 30.
Mark Anthony Barriga, the one and only Filipino boxer to qualify for the London Games, is scheduled to figure in his opening bout in the light-flyweight division on July 31.
While Barriga is a good medal potential, his chances will still depend on the results of the draw. The boxing finals are set Aug. 11, the eve of the closing ceremony.
Zou Shiming of China, the gold medalist in the 2008 Beijing Games, remains the man to beat in Barriga’s weight class.
The other swimmer in the Philippine team, Jasmine Alkhaldi, will not see action in the women's 100 freestyle until Aug. 1.
Japan-based judoka Tomohiko Aldaba Hoshina will vie in the +100 kg class on Aug. 3.
Marestella Torres, perhaps in her last Olympics, will see action in women’s long jump on Aug. 7 while Rene Herrera will compete in the men’s 5,000m distance race on Aug. 8.
Filipino BMX specialist Daniel Caluag will test his skills against the world's best riders on the same day Herrera sees action, and may just provide the surprise for Team Philippines.