What has happened since '96?
No. of athletes (first-timers) – 16 (11)
Flag-bearer – Romeo Brin (replaced fellow boxer and first choice Chris Camat who was to see action the day after the opening ceremonies)
Incentives to gold winner – P8 million (Breakdown: Congress through Republic Act 9064 – P5 million, Samsung – P1 million, Country Fresh Chicken – P1 million, Pacific Internet Phils. Inc. – P1 million)
Closest to a gold medal – Toni Rivero loses, 3-2, in the semifinals of the women’s middleweight category in taekwondo. She also falls, 6-2, in the repechage to lose a shot at the bronze.
Sound familiar? “All of the boxers are medal prospects. But Harry [Tañamor] might have the best chance." – Manny Lopez, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, on his gold-medal projection.
Above expectations – Jasmin Figueroa, 19 years old, ranks 27th in a field of 64 names in the women’s individual competitions in archery, the best finish by a Filipino archer in Olympic history.
Below expectations – No one from among the highly touted boxers entered the quarterfinals.
Countries winning their first gold medal – Chile, Chinese-Taipei, Israel, United Arab Emirates
How Team Philippines fared –
Jasmin Figueroa, women’s individual – won first round 132-130 vs. Italy; lost second round 153-150 vs. Spain
Eduardo Buenavista, men’s marathon – 67th of 81 finishers
Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito, women’s long jump – ranked 32nd of 39
Romeo Brin, men’s light welterweight – won first round 43-35 vs. Sweden; lost second round 33-13 vs. Thailand
Chris Camat, men’s middleweight – lost first round 35-13 vs. Russia
Violito Payla, men’s flyweight – lost first round 36-26 vs. Uzbekistan
Harry Tañamor, men’s light flyweight – won first round 17-12 vs. Tajikistan; lost second round 42-25 vs. Korea
Jethro Dionisio, men’s trap – ranked 32nd of 35
Timmy Chua, men’s 100m breaststroke – heats / ranked 50th of 59
Miguel Molina, men’s 200m freestyle – heats / 42nd of 59
Miguel Molina, men’s 200m breaststroke – heats / 38th of 46
Miguel Molina, men’s 200m Individual Medley – heats / 33rd of 48
Miguel Molina, men’s 400m Individual Medley – heats / 34th of 36
Miguel Mendoza, men’s 400m freestyle – heats / 36th of 46
Miguel Mendoza, men’s 1,500m freestyle – heats / 34th of 34
Jaclyn Pangilinan, women’s 100m breaststroke – heats / 31st of 48
Jaclyn Pangilinan, women’s 200m breaststroke – heats / 20th of 31
James Walsh, men’s 200m butterfly – heats / 37th of 39
Donald Geisler, men’s middleweight – lost first round by superiority vs. Turkey
Tsholmee Go, men’s flyweight – lost first round, 7-6, vs. Spain
Mary Antoinette Rivero, women’s welterweight – won first round by superiority vs. Argentina; lost second round 10-4 vs. Greece; lost repechage 6-2 vs. Korea
2000 Sydney Olympics
No. of athletes (first-timers) – 21 (20)
Flag-bearer – Donald Geisler
Closest to a gold medal – Not even close. The Sydney Olympiad is the most futile RP campaign in the post-Moscow boycott era, with the Filipino fighters—considered the best hope for a gold medal—winning only twice in the entire tournament. (After boxer Arlan Lerio and jin Roberto Cruz beat their preliminary-round opponents, they never got past the second round.)
Trivia no.1 – Hawaii-raised Filipino boxer Brian Viloria represents the US in the light-flyweight event. He wins 8-6 vs. a Russian in the first round before he falls 6-4 to a Frenchman in the next stage. As a pro, Viloria goes on to win the World Boxing Council light-flyweight title in 2005.
Sounds familiar? “We have nothing to be ashamed of. Our athletes gave their best, but the breaks went against us." – Salvador Andrada, RP chief of mission, at the closing of the Olympics.
Trivia no.2 – Jasmin Luis is the country’s first ever female entry in Olympic shooting.
Countries winning their first gold medal – Cameroon, Colombia, Mozambique
Trivia no.3 – Benjamin Tolentino is the country’s first ever entry in Olympic rowing.
How they fared -
Jennifer Chan, women’s individual – lost first round 160-143 vs. Turkey; finished 59th of 64
Eduardo Buenavista, men’s 3000m steeplechase – ranked 14th of 14 in heats
Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito, women’s 100m – fifth of eight in heats
Danilo Lerio, men’s light flyweight – bye, first round; lost second round 17-15 vs. Spain
Arlan Lerio, men’s flyweight – won first round Referee-stopped Contest vs. Uganda; lost via 80-79 countback (after 18-18 score) vs. Poland
Larry Semillano, men’s lightweight – lost first round Referee-stopped Contest vs. Ukraine
Romeo Brin, men’s light welterweight – lost first round 8-5 vs. Belarus
Zardo Domenios, men’s springboard – ranked 44th of 49
Sheila Mae Perez, women’s springboard – 32nd of 43
Toni Leviste, mixed jumping individual – ranked 61st of 71
Benjamin Tolentino, men’s single sculls – 18th of 23
Jasmin Luis, women’s air rifle (10m) – tied for 44th of 49
Miguel Mendoza, men’s 400m freestyle – heats / ranked 36th of 46
Juan Carlos Piccio, men’s 1,500m freestyle – heats / 34th of 40
Juan Carlos Piccio, men’s 400m Individual Medley – heats / 37th of 45
Marie-Lizza Danila, women’s 100m backstroke – heats / 37th of 46
Jenny Guerrero, women’s 100m breaststroke – heats / 35th of 41
Jenny Guerrero, women’s 200m breaststroke – heats / 31st of 35
Roberto Cruz, men’s flyweight – won preliminary match 4-(minus-1) vs. Guatemala; lost quarterfinals 7-5 vs. Argentina
Eva Marie Ditan, women’s flyweight – lost preliminary match 6-1 vs. Turkey
Jennifer Strachan, women’s featherweight – bye, preliminary match; lost quarterfinals 8-3 vs. Vietnam; lost repechage 9-3 vs. Turkey
Donald Geisler, men’s featherweight – lost first round via superiority (after 4-4 score) vs. Sweden
1996 Olympic Games
No. of athletes (first-timers) – 12 (eight)
Flag bearer – Reynaldo Galido
Cash incentives to gold winner – at least P9 million (Breakdown: Congress – P5 million, Philippine Sports Commission P1 million, Philippine Olympic Committee P1 million, Powerade P1 million, businessman William Gatchalian)
Countries winning their first gold medal – Burundi, Hong Kong, Syria, Thailand
Closest to a gold medal – Mansueto Velasco’s near-mint stint is the closest by a Filipino since the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Most heartbreaking loss(es) – Besides Velasco’s defeat in the final round, flyweight Elias Recaido’s lopsided loss to a Cuban in the quarterfinals prevented what could have been a two-medal boast for the Pinoys.
Quotable – “If I had money then, I wouldn’t let my sons become boxers because who wants to watch them get beaten up? You don’t see children of rich people becoming boxers." – Mansueto Velasco Sr., father of Olympic silver medalist Mansueto Jr.
One and only – Weena Lima, who competed in the women’s singles event in badminton, is the first and last Filipino badminton player. It is badminton’s second appearance in the Olympics following its debut in 1992.
How they fared -
Roy Vence, men’s marathon – ranked 100th of 111 finishers
Elma Muros, women’s long jump – 30th of 40 entries
Weena Lim, women’s singles – lost first round vs. Poland
Romeo Brin, men’s lightweight – lost first round 24-13 vs. Cuba
Reynaldo Galido, men’s light welterweight – lost first round 18-2 vs. Germany
Elias Recaido, men’s flyweight – won first round 13-2 vs. Zimbabwe; won second round 12-8 vs. Moldova; lost quarterfinals 18-3 vs. Cuba
Mansueto Velasco, men’s light flyweight – won first round Referee-stopped Contest vs. Chinese-Taipei; won second round 14-5 vs. Cuba; won quarterfinal round 20-10 vs. Morocco; won semifinal 22-10 vs. Spain; lost final round 19-6 vs. Bulgaria
Virgilio Vicera, men’s bantamweight – lost first round 19-4 vs. Korea
Denise Cojuangco, mixed jumping, individual – ranked 72nd of 82 entries
George Earnshaw, men’s trap – ranked 56th of 58
George Earnshaw, men’s double trap –27th of 35
Ryan Papa, men’s 200m freestyle – ranked 35th of 43
Ryan Papa, men’s 100m backstroke – 31st of 50
Ryan Papa, men’s 200m backstroke – 25th of 39
Akiko Thomson, women’s 50m freestyle – 51st of 55
Akiko Thomson, women’s 100m backstroke – 28th of 36
Akiko Thomson, women’s 200m backstroke – 29th of 33
Akiko Thomson, women’s 200m Individual Medley – 38th of 43