Philippines wraps up Tokyo 2020 at a historic high

Despite several athlete funding controversies, not to mention the difficulties in training our athletes faced because of the pandemic, the Philippines ended its Tokyo 2020 run at a historic high after recording its biggest medal haul in the Olympics.

With our medal tally of 1 gold, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze, we landed at the 50th spot on the overall Olympics leaderboard, making us the top-performing Southeast Asian nation followed by Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Four out of 19 representatives take home medals

Philippines Tokyo 2020 - Hidilyn Diaz
Image credit: @tokyo2020

Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first gold after edging out China’s Liao Qiuyun and Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo in the women’s 55kg category. She ended our country’s 97-year Olympic gold medal search.

Philippines Tokyo 2020 - Nesthy Petecio
Image credit: @olympics

Boxer Nesthy Petecio also marked a first, becoming the first Filipina boxer to ever win an Olympic medal. She brought home the silver after losing 0-5 against Japan’s Sena Irie via unanimous decision at the women’s featherweight finals.

Her win is also the first silver medal for Philippine boxing since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr.’s silver win in 1996.

Philippines Tokyo 2020 - Carlo Paalam
Image credit: @Tokyo2020

From his humble beginnings as a scavenger, boxer Carlo Paalam turned scrap to silver when he was able to reach the finals of the men’s flyweight category. He ended up with a silver medal after bowing to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai.

Philippines Tokyo 2020 - Eumir Marcial
Image credit: @Tokyo2020

Last but not least among our medalists, boxer Eumir Marcial settled for bronze after falling short to Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the middleweight semi-finals.

Non-medalists will receive P500,000 each

Non-medalists will not arrive home empty-handed. According to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, they will be given P500,000 each in partnership with tycoon Manny Pangilinan’s MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF).

Those who finished their Tokyo Olympic campaign without a medal are rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo athlete Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, gymnast Carlos Yulo, boxer Irish Magno, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, weightlifter Elreen Ando, golfers Juvic Pagunsan, Yuka Saso, and Bianca Pagdanganan, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, runner Kristina Knott (200m run), and swimmers Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie.

Our record-breaking performance at the Tokyo 2020 is indeed an inspiration for many athletes. With enough public support, we can definitely do well at the next Olympic games in Paris in 2024.

The Philippines brings home multiple medals from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Our delegation to the Tokyo 2020 games indeed showed the power of the Filipino spirit at its peak. Not only have we won our first-ever gold, but we’ve also brought home two more silvers and one bronze.

Kudos also to our non-medalists who have put up a good fight. Here’s hoping we can do better at Paris 2024.

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Cover image adapted from: @tokyo2020, Nolito Velasco

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