Pinoy bets off to Youth Olympics

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 14 2014 01:37 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2014 09:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The chef-de-mission of the Philippine delegation to the second Youth Olympic Games is counting on all seven athletes to do their best and give the country its first medal in the YOG.

“Any one among our seven athletes can win a medal,” said chef-de-mission Jonne Go yesterday afternoon from Nanjing, China, the site of the second staging of the YOG.

“Our archers just came off a very good performance in Seoul while all the others are in high spirits heading to Nanjing,” she added.

The Philippines is fielding shooter Celdon Jude Arellano, swimmer Roxanne Yu, gymnast Ava Lorein Verdeflor, trackster Zion Rose Nelson, triathlete Victorija Evania Deldio and archers Bianca Roxas-Chua Gotuaco and Luis Gabriel Moreno in Nanjing.

The seven athletes and their coaches left Manila yesterday noon for Nanjing via Hong Kong.

“With seven athletes, we have a good chance. We hope to win a medal or medals here. Our entry in artistic gymnastics has also shown great potential to win a medal,” said Go, president of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.

It’s only the second staging of the YOG which is reserved for athletes aged 14 to 18 years. A total of 205 countries are competing this year.

The first YOG was held in Singapore in 2010 when the Philippines was represented by nine athletes in five sports – 3-on-3 basketball, taekwondo, tennis, swimming and weightlifting.

The Philippines did not win a medal in Singapore where taekwondo jin Kirk Barbosa and weightlifter Patricial Llena finished fifth in their respective events.

Go arrived in Nanjing last Sunday accompanied by Philippine Olympic Committee administrative officer Liza Ner. She reported yesterday that everything is in place.

“The Athletes Village will provide everything they need,” said Go, adding that the International Olympic Committee is the one running the show in Nanjing.

The Filipino chef-de-mission was also in Nanjing in August last year when the Philippines bagged two gold and three silver medals in the second Asian Youth Games.

“I hope that our streak continues in Nanjing,” she said.