By NICK GIONGCO
Manila, Philippines – London Olympics chief of mission Manny Lopez is holding onto the thinnest ﬁber of hope that boxer Charly Suarez will be given the go-signal to join the lean Philippine delegation in the July 28 to Aug. 12 quadrennial event.
“The Philippine Olympic Committee has written the Aiba to consider the request of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines to include Charly Suarez,” said Lopez during yesterday’s PSA Forum.
Lopez said the Aiba, International Olympic Committee and the London organizers, have the ﬁnal say whether the country’s request will be granted.
“We will know by July 9 or sooner if Suarez will make it,” said Lopez, noting the ﬁnal composition of all nations will be ﬁnalized by that time.
The POC’s letter was later joined by similar correspondence even from boxing star Manny Pacquiao and other high-ranking officials.
So far, the Philippines has nine Olympic qualifiers and these include Marestela Torres and Rene Herrera of athletics, Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Lacuna of swimming, Mark Anthony Barriga of boxing, Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, Tomohiko Hoshina of judo, Brian Rosario of shooting and Daniel Caluag of BMX cycling.
Lopez is also keenly awaiting the result of the campaign of a six-man archery team in Utah.
Suarez is boxing’s top bet for a medal but he failed to make the Olympic grade during the Asian qualifying event in Kazakhstan two months ago, having lost the lightweight gold medal bout to a Chinese rival.
Meanwhile, Lopez said the sendoff of the Philippine delegation will be held on June 25 at the Blue Leaf in Makati.