MANILA -- If Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez were to have his way, he would choose not 1, not 2, not 3 but 5 Filipino athletes to carry the national flag during the opening ceremonies of the Southeast Asian Games next month, ABS CBN News has learned.
Ramirez said he hopes skateboarder Margielyn Didal, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxer Nesthy Petecio, and gymnast Carlos Yulo would be assigned the honor collectively.
The quality they all share? They could all be in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Of the five, only Obiena and Yulo have earned berths to the Games, while the others are in the middle of qualifiers.
The Philippine Olympic Committee has final say on the subject.
A 5-person crew of flag bearers would be unprecedented in the competition as only one athlete is traditionally designated to lead a national contingent holding the country's colors.
Didal is an Asian Games gold medalist, Petecio is a world champion, and Diaz is a multiple Olympic participant, and all of 3 of them have a legitimate shot to reach the 2020 Games.
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