September 17, 2019 at 08:35 pm
Manila Standard Sports
The Philippine archery team will feature a solid core of promising archers in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Armed with a mix of young talents and veteran smarts, national coach Clint Sayo said the chief objective of the squad is to end the four-year gold medal drought both in the recurve and compound events.
Asian Games’ bronze medalist Paul Marton Dela Cruz, Youth Olympic Games gold-medal winner Gabriel Moreno, and Olympian Jennifer Chan will be on target for that elusive gold medal in the biennial sportfest that the Philippines will host.
Dela Cruz will spearhead the men’s compound team together with Johan Olano, Roberto Badiola and Arnold Rojas while Moreno banners the four-man recurve squad along with Florante Matan, Jayson Feliciano, and Carson Hastie.
The women’s recurve will be led by Kareel Hongitan, Pia Bidaure, Phoebe Amostoso, and Gabrielle Monica Bidaure while, Chan, Andrea Robles, Rachelle Ann Dela Cruz and Abbigail Tinugduan comprise the women’s compound squad.
According to Sayo, these archers are definitely capable of winning medals for the country.
“As much as possible, we want to achieve the best results,’’ said Sayo.
``But for now, I can only assure you that we are capable of getting a medal. Whether it’s a gold, silver, or bronze, hindi ko muna sasabihin,” added Sayo, a gold medalist himself at the height of his career in the 1997 SEA Games held in Indonesia.
It was during the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar when the Filipino archers last captured a gold medal courtesy of the men’s compound team of Earl Benjamin Yap, Ian Patrick Chipeco and Delfin Anthony Adriano.
In the 2017 Malaysian edition, these archers brought home a silver and four bronze medals.
Sayo said they have to watch out for Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, but firmly believes that Filipino archers would be able to hit the target and rise to the occasion on local ground.
Meanwhile, the Philippine swimming team has the tools to finally end the country’s hunger for a gold medal in the games.
Filipino tankers who donned the national colors in the recent Fina World Championships, starring Nicole Oliva, Luke Gebbie, Remedy Rule and James Deiparine will lead the 27-man national squad in ending that drought.
Also heading the Philippine cause during the aquatics competitions at the Fina-approved New Clark City Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac are Olympians Jessie Khing Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi and homegrown talents Jerald Jacinto, Rafael and Miguel Barreto.
The Philippines has failed to bring home a gold medal ever since multiple gold-winner Miguel Molina retired after the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
Former Palarong Pambansa standouts Xiandi Chua, Maurice Sacho Ilustre, Youth Olympian Roxanne Yu, Rosalee Santa Ana, Chloe Isleta and Thanya Dela Cruz aim to send the PH tankers back atop the medal podium.
Alberto Batungbacal, Jonathan Cook, Jarod Hatch, Jean-Pierre Khouzam and Jaden Olson also made it into the team after topping their respective events in the recent Philippine Swimming National Open at NCC.
Likewise joining the cast are Rian Tirol, Desirae Mangaong, Jazlynn Pak, Joy Rodgers, Miranda Renner and Australian siblings Georgia and Thomas Peregrina during the Games on Nov.30-Dec. 11.
Based on previous performances in the Fina world championships, Rule, Gebbie and Deiparine possess a high probability of clinching a gold.
Rule, an all-American from the University of Texas in the US NCAA, shattered five Philippine records during the world championships in Gwanju, South Korea last month.
The 24-year-old made the Olympic Selection Time (OST) B-cut in the women’s 200m butterfly.
Gebbie, whose father hails from New Zealand, also reset the national record in the men’s 100m free during the world championships with a time 49.94 seconds to surpass the OST B standard of 50.3 seconds.
Deiparine, meanwhile, is looking to turn both silver finishes in the 50m and 100m breaststroke during the 2017 SEAG in Kuala Lumpur into golden performances this time.