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11 Filipino Olympians to try their luck at the 2012 London games

Updated on August 12, 2012
Hidilyn Diaz, 21, weightlifter, from Zamboanga City, Philippines
Hidilyn Diaz, 21, weightlifter, from Zamboanga City, Philippines

Hidilyn Diaz, 21, weightlifter (58 kg. div)

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Hidilyn Diaz is a 21-year-old weightlifter hopeful from Zamboanga City. She’ll compete in the 58-kg division, given the rank of ninth. The UK Telegraph says she is the Philippines’ strongest hope for a medal in the 2012 Olympics. London is her second Olympics. She was the first Filipina weightlifter at age 17 to compete in the Beijing Games as a wildcard entry. She holds the country’s record in the 96 kilograms snatch and the 123 kilograms clean and jerk, setting both records in the POC-PSC National Games last May in Dumaguete City. She qualified in the Korea open. Diaz was honored to be voted as Team Philippines flag bearer.

Jessie Khing Lacuna, 18, Pulilan, Bulacan
Jessie Khing Lacuna, 18, Pulilan, Bulacan

Jessie Khing Lacuna, 18, 200m freestyle

From Pulilan, Bulacan, Jessie Khing Lacuna, 18, will compete in the men’s 200m freestyle. In the same event, he clocked in a 1:50.90time in the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships in 2010 to break Miguel Molina’s record set in the 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games. Lacuna’s competitors in the same event are swimmers Ryan Lochte of the US, Paul Biedermann of Germany and Yannick Agnel of France

Jasmine Alkhaldi, 19, Paranaque City, Philippines
Jasmine Alkhaldi, 19, Paranaque City, Philippines

Jasmine Alkhaldi, 19, Swimming 100m freestyle

5 feet and 5 inches tall Jasmine Alkhaldi, 19, born in Paranaque City, Philippines competes in the women’s 100m freestyle. She owns the Philippine records in the 100m butterfly and 50m butterfly. A 3-time gold medallist in the 2011 Southeast Asian Age Group Championship, Alkhaldi will face veteran Olympic swimmers, including US swimmer Missy Franklin, who aims to become the first female swimmer to win 7 medals at a single Olympics.

Alkhaldi’s personal best records are 73.12 in the 50m butterfly and 50.19 in the 100m butterfly. According to FINA, the official WR for these events were established both by a German swimmer Britta Steffen in Rome, Italy during the 2009 World Championships. Her record for the 50m freestyle is 23.73 and 52.07 for the 100m freestyle.

Rene Herrera, 33,  Guimaras, Iloilo, Philippines
Rene Herrera, 33, Guimaras, Iloilo, Philippines

Rene Herrera, 33, Track and Field, 5000m

At 33, Navyman Rene Herrera is the oldest of the 11 athletes who will see action in the London Olympics. From Guimaras Island, Iloilo. Philippines, he has been competing in the 3,000m steeplechase, winning a gold medal in the same event in the 2011 Southeast Asian Game. He placed 2nd in the 2012 HKG Intercity Athletics Games. In the London Olympics, he will be competing in the 5,000m run, with high hopes of bagging a medal by beating his personal record of 14:51.40 which he set last year at the PNG Bacolod. in this event.

Daniel Caluag, 25, Bulacan, Philippines
Daniel Caluag, 25, Bulacan, Philippines

Daniel Caluag, 25, BMX Cycling

Daniel Manabat Caluag is a 25-year-old Filipino American BMX hopeful from California. The BMX cycling is a new event that was introduced in the 2008 games in China. Caluag said he was introduced to the sports at age 5 by his father who originally came from Bulacan. He’s ranked as one of top 60 riders. Caluag secured the spot at the UCI BMX world championship, which was held in Burmingham, England. He most recently finished 24th at the BMX World Championships

Tomohiko A. Hoshina, 25, Bulacan, Philippines
Tomohiko A. Hoshina, 25, Bulacan, Philippines

Tomohiko A. Hoshina, 25, jodo, 100 + kg category

Carrying a dual citizenship, Tomohiko Aldaba Hoshina is a 25-year-old Filipino-Japanese judoka based from Japan. His mother Vilma Aldaba of Malolos, Bulacan who was married to a Japanese serviceman died when he was but 13 years of age. When not competing, Hoshina teaches physical education at a leading high school in Gunma Prefecture. He will be competing in the 100 plus kilo category. His accomplishments include winning the silver at the 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games.

Paul Brian Rosario, 29, Manila, Philippines
Paul Brian Rosario, 29, Manila, Philippines

Paul Brian Rosario, 29, Skeet Shooting

From Manila Paul Brian Rosario, 29, is currently the best Filipino skeet shooter today. Of 4 athletes, he was chosen for the wild card entry offered to the country for the London Olympics. His skeet record of 120 which he made in Belgrade is 1 point shy of the Beijing Olympics gold medalist. If lucky, he might bag the elusive Olympic gold medal for the country.

His competitors for the gold are shooters Vincent Hancock of the US and Tore Brovold of Norway. Hancock won the gold medal while Brovold got the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics.

Marestella Torres, 32, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Marestella Torres, 32, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Marestella Torres, 32, women's long jump

Marestella Torres is a 32-year-old hopeful born in Negros Oriental. She will be competing in the women’s long jump. She captured the gold medal at the 2005 SEA and 2007 SEA Games. The Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) selected Torres to represent the country at the Beijing Games. Her personal best jump is 6.71 meters, achieved at the2011 Southeast Asian Games inPalembang City, Indonesia.

Mark Anthony Barriga, 19, Light Flyweight (49 kg)
Mark Anthony Barriga, 19, Light Flyweight (49 kg)

Mark Anthony Barriga, 19, Boxer, Light flyweight

Born in Panabo. Davao and lone Filipino bet in the boxing competitions, Mark Anthony Barriga,19, fights in the Light flyweight category under 49 Kg., the same weight class which won an Olympic silver by Mansueto Velasco Jr, in Atlanta ’96, and bronze by Roel Velasco in Barcelona, ’92 for the Philippines.

Barriga will box with Manuel Cappai, 19, of Italy in the first round of action in the light-flyweight category on July 31. The Italian is taller by 4 inches at 5’-6”. If Barriga triumps over Cappai, he is expected to collide with big guns like 2008 Olympic light flyweight defending champion Zou Shiming and Kazakh bet Birzhan Zhakypov.

Champion Zou Shiming was lucky to draw a bye in the opening round and is expected to box with Cuban Yosvany Soto in the second round, if Soto defeats Billy Ward of Australia. According to a reliable source, Shiming has indicated his plan to quit the ring so 2012 London Olympics will be his last. He will hang his gloves then at 31.

Rachel Anne Cabral, 27, Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley, Philippines
Rachel Anne Cabral, 27, Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley, Philippines

Rachel Anne Cabral, 27, Archer

Archer Rachel Anne Cabral is a 27-year-old Olympian from Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley. She placed 48th among 64 archers in the ranking round of the women’s individual competition. In the first day of competition, she shot a 628. In the knockout rounds, Cabral will be facing Inna Stepanova, a crack archer ranked 10th in the world. Stepanova finished 17th in the ranking round after shooting 653.

Mark Pinili Javier, 31, Dumaguete City
Mark Pinili Javier, 31, Dumaguete City

Mark Pinili Javier, 31, Archer

Male archer Mark Pinili Javier, 31, hails from Dumaguete City. He was ranked 55th after shooting 649 in the ranking round of the men’s competition. He will face American archer Brady Ellison, the top-ranked shooter in the world.

Javier is a professional Filipino archer. He competed in Archery at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar but was defeated by the Korean Im Dong Hyun 113-104 in the 1/16 Elimination Round. During the 2006 Asian Games he landed 9th place in the individual category.

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NOTE: During the 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, medals were not ripe for Filipino athletes to pick so they went home empty handed The last Olympic medal by a Filipino came in the 1996 Atlanta Games when boxer Mansueto Velasco won a silver in the 48-kilogram flyweight division. Are the medals now okay for picking so they can add it to the country's glory just like what Onyok Velasco's had done?


– Cabral and Javier (Archery – Qualifying Rounds) – July 28, 3 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on AKTV

– Lacuna (Swimming – Qualifying Heats) – July 29, 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on AKTV

– Rosario (Shooting – Qualifying Rounds) – July 31, 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on AKTV

– Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting) – July 31, 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on AKTV

– Barriga (Boxing – First Round) – July 31, 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on AKTV

– Jasmine Alkhaldi (Swimming – Qualifying Heats) – Aug. 1, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on AKTV and Aug. 2, 3:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. on TV5

– Hoshina (Judo) – Friday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on AKTV and Hyper. (5'-8", 270 lbs. Fil-Jap judoka Tomohiko Hoshina battles 6'-3", 280 lbs. South Korean Kim Sung Min at 10:15 a.m.)

– Torres (Long Jump) – Aug. 7, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on AKTV

– Herrera (5,000m Race) – Aug. 8, 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. on AKTV and Aksyon TV

– Caluag (Cycling) – Aug. 8, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on AKTV and Aug. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Hyper.

The 2012 London Olympics will run from July 28 to Aug. 13.

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London selected Results:

Women's weightlifting- 58 kg

1) Mingjuan Wang (CHN) 205, 2) Hiromi Miyake (JPN) 197, 3) Chun Hwa Ryang (PRK) 192, 4) Sirivimon Pramongkhol (THA) 191, 5) Nurdan Karagoz (TUR) 187, 6) Honami Mizuochi (JPN) 176, 7) Soniya Chanu Ngangbam (IND) 171, 8) Betsi Gabriela Rivas Arteaga (VEN) 168, 9) Beatriz Piron (DOM) 167, 10) Melanie Bardis (FRA) 166, 11) Lely Berlitt Burgos Ortiz (PUR) 157, 12) Harinelina N Rakotondramanana (MAD) 135

Monday- July 30. HIDILYN DIAZ failed to make the semi-finals after failing to lift 118 kgs weight in her 3rd attempt. She blamed dizziness for loss.

Men's 200m Freestyle Final Participant

1) Yannick Agnel (FRA) 1:43.14 2) Taehwan Park (KOR) 1:44.93, 3) Yang Sun (CHN) 1:44.93, 4) Ryan Lochte (USA) 1:45.04, 5) Paul Biedermann (GER) 1:45.53, 6) Robbie Renwick (GBR) 1:46.53, 7) Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 1:46.93, 8) Danila Izotov (RUS) 1:47.75

JESSIE LACUNA was ranked 36th out of 40 swimmers. The top 16 went on to the semi-finals but only 8 above qualified for the finals.

Women's 100m freestyle: Wed- Aug. 1- JASMINE ALKHALDI placed 34th out of 48 swimmers. She clocked 57.30 seconds in Heat 3 of the women's 100m freestyle, below her qualifying time of 56.92. Only the top 16 swimmers advanced to the semifinals of the event. The highest-placed swimmer from Southeast Asia was Singapore's Mylene Ong with 56.33, and finished 29th. The fastest qualifier was China's Tan Yi whose time of 53.28 was barely off the Olympic record of 53.12.

Mens Skeet Shooting - Tuesday, PAUL BRIAN ROSARIO failed to qualify in the Skeet Shooting event.

Women's Individual Archer Competition - Tuesday. In the elimination round RACHEL ANNE CABRAL was defeated by Russian INNA STEPANOVA with the score of 7-1. The first, second and forth sets went to the Russian archer. They tied in the 3rd set.

Men's Individual Archer Competition - Wednesday, Lord's Cricket Ground. Pinoy archer Mark Javier is also out of the Games after failing to qualify past the first round of 32. Javier lost the men's individual event to top-ranked American archer Ellison Brady 1-7 on Wednesday at Lord's Cricket Ground. Javier scored a 27, 25, 25, 22 in his four sets respectively, compared to Bradley's 29, 28, 25, 29.

Men's Boxing Light Fly 49 kgs Tuesday. MARK ANTHONY BARRIGA defeated Italian boxer MANUEL CAPPAI with a total score of 17-7. Their scores by rounds are: 1st round, 5-2; 2nd round, 4-2; Final round, 8-3.

Barriga is slated to box with Kazakhstan's Birshan Zhakypov this Saturday at 8:45 p.m. Manila time. Barriga, fagged out at the end of what looked like a wrestling match, lost a disputed 17-16 decision to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakypov in their light flyweight bout at ExCel Arena Saturday afternoon (evening in Manila). The defeat stunned the PH delegation here and prompted boxing officials to file a protest before the tournament’s jury of appeal. Appeal denied. After 2 hours here's the result.The jury cannot review the fight; the appeal did not have merit; the decision remained.

“This is what we get because we (PH) are still a boxing have-not,” rued Ricky Vargas, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines who, along with Abap executive director Ed Picson tried in vain to decipher the cryptic jury decision.

“Only the ‘haves’ in competitions get the best from the jury.”

A PH team official, who requested not to be named, said some Aiba officials have been known to accept bribes.

“Money change hands, but we don’t do that. We don’t buy a win,” said the fuming official, shortly after the competition jury rejected the plea for a review.

Barriga looked to have victory in the bag after two rounds as he led, 9-7, when the taller Kazakh started wrestling the 5-foot Filipino to the canvas. In all, Barriga was pushed to the canvas three times in the third and final round, sapping his strength and draining his fighting adrenalin.

His second fall drew a mind-boggling 2-point deduction as Canadian referee Roland Labbe chose to turn a blind eye on Zhakypov’s dirty tactics. The Kazakh was leaning on the back of Barriga’s head with all his weight in the third minute of the third round when the referree shockingly penalized the Filipino supposedly for ducking.

“I won the fight,” said the 19-year-old from Panabo, Davao del Norte, in Filipino. “I was the victim and yet I got the penalty. The referee did not see me as I suffered there from all the pushing and the wrestling.”

Delegation Chief Manny Lopez said that Barriga actually lost to the referee, not to his opponent.

Men's judo +100kg elimination round, August 3: So. Korea's Kim Sung-min wins elim round of 32 judo match vs TOMOHIKO HOSHINA of the Philippines. Kim toppled Hoshina to score an ippon, which means a full point, during their clash in the men's heavyweight division. Kim advanced to the round of 16, while Hoshina joined other Filipino athletes to the exit door.

About 5,000 meter runner Rene Herrera, long jumper Marestela Torres and BMX rider Danny Caluag.

Cyclist Danny Caluag reached the quarterfinal round of the BMX competition, but finished last in his group during the race for the semifinal round.

Other Filipino athletes like swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Lacuna, archers Mark Javier and Rachelle Cabral, shooter Brian Rosario, long jump athlete Marestella Torres and 5,000-meter bet Rene Herrera, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and judoka Tomohiko Hoshina did not get anywhere near the medal fight, considering the strength and depth of the opposition.

Lopez said the most important thing they did in London is that they tried their best.

Bye! Till the next Olympics.


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    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Thanks for your comment Neutral Universe. It would be appreciated if you can provide links or sources for me to amend facts found erroneous.

    • profile image

      Neutral Universe 

      6 years ago

      I'm sorry but you have erroneous details here especially when it comes to age.


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