TOKYO ‒ All but the country’s bets in athletics and golf have already entered the Olympic Village as of Tuesday, a good three full days before the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.
“Everyone who’s here are already training in their respective training venues,” Team Philippines Chef de Mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said Tuesday, adding early-day hitches are being addressed by the organizers, including the distribution and administration of the daily virus tests for the athletes.
“Team Hidilyn [Diaz] is already training, as well as the boxing team,” Araneta said. “There are challenges in bringing the athletes to their training venues, but they are all under control.”
Athletes and delegation members have to follow an activity plan in getting from one venue to another, one of the dozens of protocols to guarantee the safety and health of everyone participating in the Olympics.
US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso, according to Araneta, is already in town but prefers to stay in a hotel closer to the golf venue.
“Yuka arrived on Monday and she is staying at the Okura Hotel with his father-coach Masakazu, as well as his coaching team,” Araneta said.
The Kasumigaseki Country Club, which is hosting both the men and women competitions, is a good 70 kms—an over an hour drive from the Olympic Village—prompting Saso’s team to relocate to a hotel.
Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan will also stay at separate hotels near the venue.
There are 60 golfers from at least 36 nations competing in Olympic golf. The men’s contest is set from July 29 to August 2 and the women will follow suit from August 4 to 7.
Mariano also bared that boxer Irish Magno hurt her right ankle while jumping rope on Monday, but thanks to coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco, the injury was immediately contained.
“Nilagyan ko kaagad ng yelo at ‘nung tinignan ni Doc Randy [Molo, team doctor], ok na siya,” Velasco said.
Mariano said pole vaulter EJ Obiena is due at the village at noon on Friday, while runner Kristina Knott is staying in a hotel in Nagasaki where the athletics training venue is located.