Non-medalists to be rewarded, too, for their efforts, says POC chief

FILIPINO athletes who saw action in the Tokyo Games but were not able to win a medal stand to receive incentives as well, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced on Thursday.

In a statement, POC President Abraham N. Tolentino said the sports body and the MVP Sports Foundation of businessman Manny V. Pangilinan will reward the non-medalists on Team Philippines P500,000 each for their part in making the country’s campaign in this year’s edition of the Summer Games a bid to remember.

“The non-medalists in the Tokyo Olympics will receive incentives of P500,000 each. Everyone on Team Philippines in these ‘Golden Olympics’ deserve all the praises, and in this case, incentives, they need,” Mr. Tolentino said.

“Qualifying for the Olympics is already that difficult, what more competing in the Games themselves,” he added, noting as well how the athletes had to deal with the difficulties and limitations brought about by the pandemic on their way to, and during, their respective campaigns.

To get the incentives are rowing’s Cris Nievarez, taekwondo’s Kurt Barbosa, skateboarding’s Margielyn Didal, shooting’s Jayson Valdez, gymnastics’ Carlos Yulo, boxing’s Irish Magno, judo’s Kiyomi Watanabe, weightlifting’s Elreen Ann Ando, golf’s Juvic Pagunsan, athletics’ EJ Obiena (pole vault), and Kristina C. Knott (200m) and swimming’s Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie.

To date, the Philippines has won one gold (Hidilyn F. Diaz/weightlifting), one silver (Nesthy A. Petecio/boxing) and one bronze (Eumir Felix D. Marcial/boxing) and Carlo Paalam already assured of a silver medal and golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan still competing in women’s individual stroke play.

Mses. Diaz and Petecio and Messrs. Marcial and Paalam are already assured of performance incentives from the government and private sector for winning medals.

Prior to the country’s breakthrough Olympic showing this year, the best campaign of the Philippines in the quadrennial Games in terms of number of medals won was in 1932 in Los Angeles with three bronze medals from Simeon Toribio (men’s high jump), Jose Villanueva (boxing), and Teofilo Yldefonso (swimming). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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