PSC okays P4M budget for hosting taekwondo Olympic qualifier
Joey Villar (philstar.com) - February 3, 2016 - 11:56pm

MANILA, Philippines – The country is pulling out all stops in qualifying more athletes to this year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

This after the Philippine Sports Commission recently approved the Php4 million budget the country will use in hosting the Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualifier this April with hopes of advancing a maximum of four local jins to Rio.

"It's approved," said PSC chair Richie Garcia of the event slated April 19-20 either at the Marriot Hotel or at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

A total of 400 participants are expected to participate in the two-day meet where a total of 16 male and female Olympic slots are at stake.

"It will be tough but at least it will help our athletes knowing that they're competing on our home soil," said Garcia.

Philippine Taekwondo Association chief executive officer Sung Chon Hong, for his part, said they're eyeing to qualify three or four to Rio.

“All our athletes are very qualified but then it also depends on the luck of draw,” said Hong. "Hopefully, we could qualify three or four."

Meanwhile, the PTA will hold its National Championship this weekend at the Cuneta Astrodome where notable names like Francis Aaron Agojo, Samuel Thomas Morrison, Ronna Ilao, Pauline Lopez and Benjamin Keith Sembrano are expected to participate in the kyorugi or free sparring.

To date, only Fil-Am hurdler Eric Cray has made it to the Olympics after making the cut in a race in the United States last year.

And if all things work out well, there is a chance someone from taekwondo could join Cray there.

ASIAN TAEKWONDO OLYMPIC QUALIFIER CUNETA ASTRODOME ERIC CRAY FRANCIS AARON AGOJO JANEIRO OLYMPICS MARRIOT HOTEL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PASAY CITY PAULINE LOPEZ AND BENJAMIN KEITH SEMBRANO PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION PHILIPPINE TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION
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