By Nick Giongco
Twenty-eight athletes from 12 sports have been identified by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as the recipient of extra funding from tycoon and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy in line with the PSC’s 2020 Olympics drive.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said among the 28 top athletes who get additional boost include Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, judoka Kiyoshi Watanabe and archer Nicole Tagle.
Apart from weightlifting, judo and archery, athletes from centerpiece athletics and swimming and boxing are also getting premium support from Uy, whose Siklab 2020 program is aimed at putting an end to the Philippines’ gold medal drought.
Ramirez said the formal launch of the Siklab 2020 will be made later in the month.
The Philippines hasn’t won a gold medal in the Olympics in its almost 100 years of participation. Aside from Diaz’s silver in 2016, two other silvers were brought home from Tokyo (1964) and Atlanta (1996), courtesy of boxing.
The bronze medals were delivered by swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, tracksters Miguel White and Simeon Toribio and boxers Cely Villanueva, Leopoldo Serantes and Roel Velasco.