Athletics competitors have chance to secure Olympic slots

With only three months left before the deadline for Olympic qualification, several Filipino athletes are still vying for a spot to represent the country in the upcoming Paris Olympics. Aside from pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who has already secured a spot, six athletes and a 4x400m men’s relay team are in contention to join the delegation.

According to PATAFA secretary-general Jasper Tanhueco, the rankings of the Olympic hopefuls could still change as the deadline for qualification is until the end of June. Tanhueco emphasized the importance of upcoming competitions and performances in determining the final lineup for the Olympics. He stated that providing more opportunities for athletes to meet the standards or improve their rankings is crucial in ensuring a strong delegation.

Notably, since Obiena has qualified outright, the Philippines has only one slot remaining for a female athlete via the universality route if no other athlete makes it. Tanhueco mentioned that sending a female candidate for the universality slot is a possibility if necessary.

To help athletes reach the Olympic standard, PATAFA is organizing a series of competitions, including the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Open, Hong Kong Championships, Taiwan Open, Kinami Memorial, Seiko Golden, and more. Additionally, selected athletes will have the chance to compete in meets in the US, such as the Texas Relays and Penn Relays, as well as in Europe.

The Olympic contenders from the Philippines include John Cabang (110m hurdles), Lauren Hoffman (400m hurdles), Robyn Brown (400m hurdles), Janry Ubas (long jump), Eric Cray (400m hurdles), Kristina Knott (200m), and the 4×400 men’s relay team composed of Mico del Prado, Frederick Ramirez, Joyme Sequita, and Umajesty Williams. Cray and Knott have previous Olympic experience from the 2016 and 2020 Games, respectively.

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