The Tokyo Olympics scream women empowerment.
It was in the 1924 Paris Olympics when Philippines first participated, and since then the country has won a total of 10 medals: three silvers and seven bronzes. The elusive gold medal may be finally be close at hand with the 19 athletes we are sending to the Tokyo Olympics. At first, the Philippine Olympic Committee said they were only looking to send 16 athletes to Tokyo, but that mark has been surpassed.
The the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, just a few weeks from now. Aside from an exceeding amount of FIlipino athletes that will compete, 10 among the final 19 are female athletes contending for gold medals in boxing, weightlifting, skateboarding, athletics, judo, swimming, and golf.
This is also a historic moment in terms of representation. Compared to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, only five were women among the 15 who represented the Philippines. Back in the 2012 London Olympics, women only made up four of the 11 athletes.
Indeed, it’s already a proud moment even before the olympics started, not just for all Filipinas, but to the entire country as well. Meet the women who will carry the Philippine flag in Tokyo Olympics.
Irish Magno (Boxing – women’s flyweight)
Magno qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after winning against Sumaiya Qosimova of Tajikistan in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Jordan.
This marks Magno as the first Filipina boxer to qualify for the Olympics, the second Filipino boxer along with Eurmir Marcial, and the fourth overall to be part of the Team Pilipinas.
Nesthy Petecio (Boxing – women’s featherweight)
Petecio is a multiple title holder and has been competing in the Southeast Asian Games since 2011.
In her first SEAG in Jakarta, Indonesia, Petecio won a silver medal for the bantamweight division. In SEAG 2019, Petecio won against Myanmar’s Oo Nwe Ni in the featherweight division of the women’s boxing tournament and bagged a gold medal.
Now, Petecio has earned a ticket to Tokyo for the summer games, along with Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam, after qualifying via world rankings, sitting at No. 2 in women’s 57kg AIBA world rankings.
Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting – women’s 55kg)
Diaz was qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where she lifted 90kg in two attempts.
Diaz ended a twenty-year medal drought for the Philippines when she won silver in the 53kg weightlifting division at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was also the first female athlete to step onto an Olympic podium for the country.
Elreen Ando (weightlifting – women’s 64kg)
Ando is the highest-ranked athlete in the International Weightlifting Federation and was also qualified for the Olympics through continental allocation in the women’s -64kg event.
Margielyn Didal (Skateboard – women’s street)
Margielyn Didal is the first Filipina athlete who will compete in the first skateboarding medal event in the summer games. Even if she had failed to qualify during the 2021 World Street Skateboarding Championships in Rome, Italy, the strength of her world rankings secured her Olympic slot sitting at the 13th spot.
Before this, she already earned two gold medals during the inaugural event for skating in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Kristina Knott (Athletics – women’s 200m)
A Southeast Asian Games champion, Knott earned her spot in the women’s 200-meter run in the Olympics via the universality rule along with three other athletes from Iceland, Singapore and South Sudan.
The Filipino-American track athlete captured four medals in the 2019 SEA Games, and two silver medals in the International Meeting of the City of Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy.
Knott also broke Lydia De Vega’s long standing record in the 100-meters, clocking 11.27 seconds in the Drake Blue Oval Showcase in Iowa setting a new national record.
Kiyomi Watanabe (Judo – women’s -63kg)
after ranking 41st in the world with 1,506 points in the women’s -63kg event, Kiyome Watanabe made the Olympic cut and became the first Filipina judoka to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She also won the Philippines’ first silver medal in the 2018 Asian Games.
Yuka Saso (Women’s golf)
After winning the US Women’s Open and made history as the first Filipino to do so, she also became qualified for the Tokyo Games. Saso is still awaiting for the official announcement about her joining the Olympics.
Bianca Pagdanganan (Women’s golf)
From Quezon City, Bianca Pangandanan, won two medals during the 2018 Asian Games. One in the single’s category, and another as a teammate of Saso and Lois Kaye Go. She also won the country’s first gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Remedy Rule (Swimming – women’s 200m butterfly)
The latest Filipina to qualify for the games, in the 24-year-old Fil-Am, Remedy Rule. This swimmer currently holds the national record for the Philippines in 200m butterfly, clocking in at 2 minutes and 9.58 seconds at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa.
Remedy will be competing in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly in the Tokyo Olympics after qualifying via universality rule of the International Swimming Federation. Rule garnered the highest point with 830 FINA points.