Unless he qualifies in some other event, swimmer Carlo Piccio is out, at least for now, of the Philippine team to the Athens Olympics in August.
Piccio found himself in this situation after he and teammate Miguel Molina both qualified for the 400-m individual medley of the Athens Games.
And since Molina is the stronger swimmer in the event, Piccio had to give way. He will have to try his luck in some other event when he competes in the final Olympic qualifying tournament for swimming in Malaysia next month.
Piccio and Molina both qualified under the Olympic Grade B standard and therefore cannot be entered in a single event. Countries are only allowed two entries per event if their athletes qualified under the Grade A standard.
"It’s now up to PASA (Philippine Amateur Swimming Association) to decide what other event Piccio can try to qualify," said POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) president Celso Dayrit yesterday at the Orchids Hotel where the Athens-bound RP athletes were feted.
Dayrit also aired confidence that the forthcoming Olympics will be staged successfully despite a recent bombing incident in Athens. He said organizers are spending $1.2 million for security alone.
There are already 12 Filipino athletes who’ve qualified. They are boxers Violito Payla, Romeo Brin and Chris Camat, tracksters Eduardo Buenavista and Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito, taekwondo’s Donald Geisler, Tshomlee Go and Marie Antoinette Rivero, archery’s Jasmin Figueroa, shooting’s Jethro Dionisio, and swimming’s Miguel Mendoza and Molina.
However, only Figueroa, Payla, Camat and Dionisio made it to the affair since the others are training either abroad or out of town.
Other events where RP athletes still have a chance of qualifying for Athens are diving, canoeing, judo and boxing which has its third and last qualifying event going in Pakistan and with four Filipinos, led by lightfly Harry Tanamor, competing.