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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Juvic’s officially in

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JUVIC PAGUNSAN made the cut in men’s golf at the Tokyo Olympics, making him the country’s 13th official entry in the games that open in a month’s time.

The 43-year-old Pagunsan, a regular campaign in the rich Japanese Tour, wound up No. 51 in Tuesday’s cutoff set by the International Golf Federation (IGF). The top 60 men in the rankings will play in the golf competition set from July 29 to August 1 at the East Course of the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama.

The official announcement for the women’s qualifiers—US Open women’s champion Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan are considered shoo-ins—will be on June 29, according to National Golf Association of the Philippines Secretary General Bones Floro.

“We are very happy that we officially have our first golfer to qualify in the Tokyo Olympics,” Floro told BusinessMirror on Tuesday.

Pagunsan joined the growing roster of Filipino Olympians that include pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margie Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam.

Floro has earlier said the country’s top top two golfers are virtually qualified with Saso currently No. 8 and Pagdanganan No. 42. Also the top 60 in women’s golf are going to Tokyo.

“Even if Yuka and Bianca are shoo-in already, we still have to wait a few more days for the official announcement,” Floro said. “It’s a sense of pride or the feeling of pride for all of us Filipinos to be represented in the Olympics.”

Women’s golf in Tokyo will be played from August 4 to 7 on the same Kasumigaseki course.

Miguel Tabuena represented the Philippines when golf made its return to the Olympics in Rio 2016. He finished 53rd in a field of 60.

Pagunsan won the Mizuno Open championship last May 30 for his first Japan Golf Tour title at the Setonaikai Golf Club in Okayama, strengthening his bid for an Olympic berth.

LOCAL FANS ALLOWED, BUT….

A SHARPLY limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics, organizers announced as they tried to save some of the spirit of the Games where even cheering has been banned.

Organizers set a limit of 50 percent capacity—up to a maximum of 10,000 fans, all of whom must be Japanese residents—for each Olympic venue, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors. Officials said that if coronavirus cases rise again the rules could be changed and fans could still be barred all together. Spectators from abroad were banned several months ago, and now some local fans who have tickets will be forced to give them up.

The decision comes as opposition among Japanese to holding the Games in July remains high, though may be softening, and as new infections in Tokyo have begun to subside.

Still, health officials fear that in a country where the vast majority of people have yet to be vaccinated, crowds at the Olympics could drive cases up. The country’s top medical adviser, Dr. Shigeru Omi, recommended last week that the safest way to hold the Olympics would be without fans. Allowing fans presents a risk not just at the venues but will also lead to more circulation on commuter trains, in restaurants and other public spaces.

It’s already become clear that these Olympics Games will be unlike any others, but organizers have said they are determined to hold them and billions of dollars in broadcast rights and ticket sales are at stake. Still, much of the fanfare that surrounds them—people from around the world rubbing elbows, a celebratory atmosphere in the host city and the showcasing of the host country’s culture—will be off the table or far more muted this year.

Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, called the decision “the last piece for the Olympics” to proceed on July 23.

With AP

Image courtesy of AP

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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