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Sports

Athens Olympians train sights on Beijing

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The Olympic experience is a matter Jasmin Figueroa, Mary Antoinette Rivero and the rest of the RP team to the Athens Games will never exchange for anything.Never mind if they went home medal-less.

Actually, given another chance, these bunch of Filipino athletes are more than ready and willing to serve flag and country again.

"It’s something I will really cherish. Besides, it’s a very, very good exposure since the Southeast Asian Games is just around the corner," said the 16-year old Rivero, echoing the same sentiments of the rest of the RP bets in the PSA Forum yesterday, their first public appearance since coming home from the Greek capital where they waged battle for two weeks against the world’s best athletes.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Eric Buhain accompanied the RP contingent — also composed of jin Donald David Geisler III, taekwondo coach Jesus Morales, boxer Chris Camat, swimmer Raphael ‘Timmy’ Chua and coach Anthony Lozada — to the public sports program sponsored by Red Bull, Agfa Colors and PAGCOR.

But other than lauding them for giving their best, the PSC chief opted to play low key and gave the floor instead, to the athletes themselves.

"Siyempre malungkot tayo na walang naiuwing medalya, pero mas malungkot ang mga atletang ito.
They trained hard and sacrificed a lot for the country. They really did their best," said Buhain, earning a round of applause from the Manila Pavilion crowd.

The Athens campaign marked the second straight time the country was shutout of the medal race in the Olympics after Syndey in 2000.

Rivero and Figueroa, 19, two of the youngest out of the 16-man RP team to the Athens Games, are hopeful of competing in the next Olympics to be held in Beijing four years from now.

AGFA COLORS

ANTHONY LOZADA

ATHENS GAMES

CHRIS CAMAT

DONALD DAVID GEISLER

ERIC BUHAIN

JASMIN FIGUEROA

JESUS MORALES

MANILA PAVILION

MARY ANTOINETTE RIVERO

PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION

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