Paddlers, triathletes go for Tokyo berths

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino Olympic hopefuls from canoe-kayak, triathlon and rowing brace for their respective qualifying tournaments 100 days before the start of the Summer Games in Tokyo.

Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Hermie Macaranas, silver medal winner Ojay Fuentes and John Paul Selencio are scheduled to leave Saturday for the 2021 Canoe Slalom Asian Olympic Qualifier set April 30 to May 2 in Pattaya, Thailand.

To qualify, they need to win the event or rank No. 1 in Asia.

“This is our one last chance to qualify so our paddlers are giving their all and hoping,” said national team coach Len Escollante.

Also eyeing Tokyo Games slots are Kim Mangrobang, Andrew Kim Remolino and Fernando Jose Casares, who will see action in the Asian Triathlon Championships, which will serve as the sport’s Olympic qualifying races from April 24-25 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.

Rower Melcah Jen Caballero, for her part, will spearhead the team of Joanie Delgaco, Cris Nievares, Zuriel Sumintac and Roque Abala in the Asia and Oceania Continental Qualification Regatta scheduled May 5-7 in Tokyo, Japan. Caballero, a double gold medal winner in the 2019 SEAG, is the country’s best bet to land a Tokyo seat.

after a solid fourth-place effort in the online 2021 World Indoor Rowing Championship last February.

These athletes are out to join gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam in the quadrennial event.

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