PSC chief on PH team’s heartbreaking setbacks in Olympics: It happens to the best of them
CEBU CIY, Philippines—– The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who is in Tokyo, Japan, said on Sunday, July 25, that losing happens even to the best of them after the Philippine team encountered heartbreaking setbacks in the first two days of the Olympics.
Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa and Fil-American swimmer Remedy Rule were eliminated right on the first day of competition. Shooter Jayson Valdez was also booted out of the air rifle competition today.
Even world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo was not spared after he failed to advance to the finals of the men’s floor exercise where he was touted as the favorite to win the medal.
“Si Caloy, first-time sa Olympics. I got to talk to him before his vault competition. Sabi ko sa kanya na ‘wag siya masyadong mag-worry kasi it really happens,” said Ramirez, citing Japanese legend and two-time Olympic champion “King Kohei” Uchimura, who fell off the horizontal bar and failed to advance during the men’s gymnastics qualifying round on Saturday.
(It’s Caloy’s first time in the Olympics. I got to talk to him before his vault competition. I told him not to worry about it because it happens.)
However, it’s not over for Yulo as he still has a chance to win a medal in the vaults event of the men’s gymnastics.
“Kahit ‘yung Japanese two-time world champion, natalo, nahulog sa bar,” Ramirez said.
(Even the Japanese, a two-time world champion, lost, he fell from the bar.)
Pressure, high expectations
The PSC chief said pressure from the Filipino public and high expectations that stemmed from the Philippines’ 97-year-old gold medal drought in the Olympics proved simply too much for the 19 Filipino Olympians to handle.
“Medyo frustrating because we are expecting the elusive gold since 1924,” said Ramirez.
The journey to Olympic glory doesn’t happen overnight, the PSC chief said.
“Naawa ako sa bata (Yulo) dahil he was pressured. Nakita ko na umupo siya sa ibaba. I would imagine as an athlete ‘yung frustration nu’ng bata, but Caloy should not worry because he has Paris Olympics to look forward to,” said Ramirez, who also made an example of Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who took three Olympics (Beijing, London, Rio) before clinching a medal.
(I pity the kid (Yulo) because he was pressured. I saw how he sat below. I would imagine as an athlete the frustration of the kid, but Caloy should not worry because he has Paris Olympics to look forward to.)
PSC: Hidilyn Diaz a model
“You’re very lucky kung unang pasok mo panalo ka. Si Hidilyn, she’s a model, pumasok siya 2008, nanalo siya sa Rio Olympics,” said Ramirez.
(You’re very lucky if in your first time you win. Hidilyn, she is a model, she competed in 2008, she won in the Rio Olympics.)
’Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanya (Yulo), ‘wag siya mag-worry, naiintindihan namin ‘yan because it happens even to the best athletes,” he said.
(That is what I told him (Yulo), he should not worry, we understand that because it happens even to the best athletes.)
Ramirez said the PSC had learned so much from the experience of Diaz, from her wildcard entry in China to her silver in Brazil.
“Nagkaroon ang board ng solution ang PSC at itinulad namin ‘to kay Hidilyn Diaz. An athlete must have his own coaches, a nutritionist, a psychologist, a physiologist. Hindi puwede na ipapadala lang natin ‘to at mangangarap lang tayo ng gold,” Ramirez said.
(The board, the PSC, had a solution and we patterned it like Hidilyn Diaz. An athlete must have his own coaches, a nutritionist, a psychologist, a physiologist. We just can’t send them there and dream of winning the gold.)
But, there is still a huge hope for the Philippines to win a medal as female boxers Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno advanced to the next round after winning in their preliminary bouts while 16 other Filipinos are set to compete in their respective sports./WITH PR
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