Government supports Filipino athletes in London Olympics-A A +A
Sunday, July 29, 2012
MANILA – Malacañang expressed full support to Filipino athletes competing in various sports in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
"We fully support you (Filipino athletes). We are hoping of your good performance in the Olympics. Many (Filipinos) will surely watch and follow you," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.
The 11 Filipino athletes who are competing in nine different sporting events at the 2012 London Olympics from July 27 to August 12 are Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting, women’s 58 kg), Jasmine Alkhaldi (swimming, women's 100-meter freestyle, Jessie Lacuna (swimming, men's 200m freestyle), Brian Rosario (shooting, skeet), Tomohiko Hoshina (judo, men's +100kg), Daniel Caluag (cycling, men's BMX), Mark Barriga (men's boxing, light flyweight), Marestella Torres (athletics, women's long jump), Rene Herrera (athletics, men's 3000m steeplechase), Rachelle Anne Cabral (archery, women's individual) and Mark Javier (archery, men's individual).
The flagbearer for the Philippine delegation during the opening ceremony was 21-year-old weightlifter Diaz from Zamboanga City, who is participating in her second Olympic Games.
The Philippine contingent for the Olympiad was the smallest delegation in the history of the country's participation in the quadrennial sporting event since 1932.
During the stunning opening ceremony on Friday night, the British monarch was one of the hits. The ceremony was heralded as "breathtaking and bonkers" and placed London at the "center of the world."
Queen Elizabeth II provided the highlight of Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's high-adrenaline show. With film trickery, Boyle made it seem that Britain's 86-year-old monarch parachuted into the stadium with James Bond star Daniel Craig.
London mayor Boris Johnson said the four-hour long ceremony was "stupefying."
"The big anxiety we had was, could we do something that would rival Beijing," said Johnson. "I think we knocked the spots off it."
The London Olympics moved into competition mode on Saturday to award the first gold medal and announce its first doping case as Britain awoke euphoric after a stunning opening ceremony.
Queen Elizabeth II toured the Olympic Park; and Chinese shooter Yi Siling captured gold in the women's 10-meter air rifle.
The International Olympic Committee, meanwhile, banned Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku after he tested positive for a banned steroid, stanozolol, on July 23.
Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps also barely qualified for his final and Beijing Olympics 400-meter champion Park Tae-hwan of South Korea was disqualified in a surprising opening session at the Aquatics Centre.
Phelps, who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, qualified only eighth-fastest for the night final of the 400-meter individual medley (IM).
"That one didn't feel too good," he said.
Olympic champion Park touched the wall first in his 400 freestyle heat, but was disqualified for a false start. South Korea later filed a protest in an attempt to get the decision overturned before the night final.
Two other finals were scheduled on Saturday night — the women's 400 IM and 4x100-meter freestyle relay.
The cycling road race got under way Saturday morning and, with it, Britain's best chance for an early gold medal that would extend the national celebration.
Mark Cavendish, riding alongside fellow Briton and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, was among the starters for the 250-kilometer race, which passed some of London's most iconic landmarks and out into the Surrey countryside southwest of London. Huge crowds lined the course.
Finals were also scheduled in the women's 48-kilogram class in weightlifting, two in judo, the men's team final in archery and women's individual foil in fencing.
The Olympic Games is considered as a major international event and the world's foremost sports competition that features summer and winter sports where thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries participate in various disciplines.
The games are currently held biennially, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, meaning they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. (SDR/AP/Sunnex)