Discussions across the country’s gold-medal chase in the Tokyo Olympics steadily changed around boxers Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio as well as world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo.
Golfer Yuka Saso just took two tournaments in just about two weeks to be part of that conversation.
Saso a 19 years old woman created history for the Philippines with two gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games and recently she solidified her resume further by winning a pair of tournaments on the LPGA of Japan Tour.
Saso’s Olympics rankings skyrocket to No. 30 in the world by those twin victories it is the giant leap from her previous spot of 46th.
Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino and Philippine Olympic Committee president said, “She’s a very big hope for an Olympic medal, especially for the gold.’’
The top 60 golfer’s women and men in the Olympic rankings will earn slots to the Tokyo Summer Games next year. Another Filipino golfer, Dottie Ardina, is currently No. 54 in the women’s Olympic ranking.
Mariano “Nonong’’ Araneta Jr., the Philippine chef de mission to the Tokyo Olympics said, “Yuka is doing very well. I think this is our best chance to win a gold medal [in the Olympics] with several Filipino world-class athletes in our lineup.’’
Sideways from Marcial, Petecio and Yulo, Araneta is similarly counting on pole vaulter EJ Obiena. In 2016 weightlifting and skateboarder winners Rio de Janeiro silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of Margielyn Didal finally made the country’s gold-medal dream a reality.
Araneta said, “We really have to support our Olympic team with funding and prayers, so that our athletes will stay safe and healthy’’
82 athletes from 19 sports are vying for Olympic spots with 22 of them currently busy training in foreign according to Araneta.