PSC targets two golds for PH in Tokyo Olympics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 11) – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) hopes the country can win its first Olympic gold medal in history in next year's Tokyo Olympics.

During his year-end report on Friday, PSC Chairman William Ramirez boldly declared the Philippines has a chance to win at least two gold medals in the coronavirus-postponed international sports meet.

"Excellent athletes can be in control of themselves, they might perform. This must be an opportunity," Ramirez said.

The national sports agency head listed 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and gymnastics world champion Carlos Yulo as the country's best hopes in winning the elusive Olympic gold medal.

"If science-based, we do not have proof, but Hidilyn Diaz and Caloy (Yulo) have proven that they can. We are lucky that we have the opportunity to support them," Ramirez stated.

The 20-year old Yulo has already secured his Tokyo Olympics slot in October 2019 after winning the historic gold medal in the men's floor exercise event at the 49th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Weightlifting sensation Diaz is currently gathering points to make her fourth straight Olympic stint possible.

Ramirez added the PSC has a target of sending 29 athletes in the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympics, set on July 23 to August 8 next year. He assured the Congress allocated enough funds under the proposed 2021 national budget for the training and participation of Filipino athletes in the quadrennial meet.

"We plan to go to the Olympics one month before the events. We are preparing an advanced team to support them," he said.

The PSC previously announced a possible 'bubble' setup for the training of Filipino Olympic aspirants, only awaiting the go signal of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Aside from Yulo, other Filipino athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics are pole vaulter EJ Obiena and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.