Team Philippines: Eleven Olympic Hopefuls

With the 2012 London Olympics fast approaching on July 27th, it's interesting to note the various athletes competing for Team Philippines. From swimming, boxing, archery, skeet shooting,weight lifting, track & field, judo, and bmx, these Olympic games will give us more reason to watch and cheer. The Philippines has never won an Olympic gold medal. The last medal that was won was in 1996 when boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco was awarded with a silver medal. Maybe this is the time for Team Philippines to bring home the Gold. Be sure to tune in! 


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Jasmine Alkaldi is a 19-year-old Filipino-Saudi Arabian born in Paranaque. Alkaldi's major achievements include holding the Philippine swimming record for the 50m and 100m butterfly. Alkaldi secured a spot in the Olympics through the World Championships and will be participating in the 100-meter freestyle event in the Olympics.

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Jessie King Lacuna is a 18-year-old swimmer from Pulilan, Bulacan who secured a spot in the Olympics through the World Championships. Lacuna will be participating in the 200-meter freestyle event. Lacuna's major accomplishments include winning two gold medals at the national games. Lacuna is the youngest competitor on Team Philippines.


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Paul Brian Rosario is a 29-year-old from Manila. Rosario will be participating in the skeet shooting event and qualified as a wild card.  Rosario's major accomplishments include which being one point shy of the Beijing Olympics gold medalist score of 120 during a competition in Belgrade.


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Mark Anthony Barriga is a 19-year-old light flyweight (49 kilograms) boxer born in Panabo, Davao. Barriga qualified during the 2011 World Championships and is considered Team Philippines' best chance at a gold medal. Barriga is also the only boxer representing Team Philippines.


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Hidilyn Diaz is a 21-year-old weightlifter from Zamboanga City. Diaz qualified in the Korea Open and the London Games will be her second Olympics. She is Philippines' first Olympic weight lifter. For the 58kg category, Diaz is he ranked ninth. Diaz will be Team Philippines flag bearer.


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Marestella Torres is a 32-year-old hopeful born in Negros Oriental. Torres will be competing in the long jump and qualified with 6.71-meter national mark. Torres' major accomplishments include winning a silver medal at the 2005 Asian Championships and breaking many records. Torres has been competing for Philippines since age 12.

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Navyman Rene Herrera is a 33-year-old hopeful from Guimaras Island, Iloilo.  This will be Herrera's first Olympics and will be competing in the 5000m steeplechase.  Major accomplishments include winning a gold medal at 2011 Southeast Asian Game.  Herrera is the oldest competitor on Team Philippines.


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Daniel Caluag is a 25-year-old Filipino American BMX hopeful from California. Caluag secures a spot for the 2012 Olympics held in London. Caluag secured the spot at the UCI BMX world championship, which was held in Burmingham, England. Caluag is a definite medal contender. 


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Tomohiko Hoshina is a 25-year-old Filipino-Japanese judoka based from Japan. He will be competing in the 100 plus kilo category. Hosina's major accomplishments include winning silver at the 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games. Hoshina was given an automatic spot on Team Philippines. Hoshina admits that it would have been hard to make it on the Japanese team.


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Mark Javier is a 31-year-old from Dumaguete City. Javier will be competing in the archery event and earned a spot at the World Archery Championship and will be his 2nd Olympics. Javier's major accomplishments include winning a gold medal at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games and National record holder.

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Rachel Cabral is a 27-year-old from Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley. She will also be competing in archery and qualified at the World Archery Championship in Utah along with Mark Javier.  This will be Cabral's second Olympic games and Philippines' first female Olympic archer since 2004.



*Image courtesy of: (Jerome Ascano/


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