MANILA – A Palace official on Sunday lauded Filipino athletes in Tokyo for their best Olympics campaign after bringing home four medals, including the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.
The Filipino athletes also clinched two silvers and one bronze, completing the country’s biggest medal haul since it joined the world’s most prestigious multisport meet in 1924.
Hidilyn Diaz won it all in a women's weightlifting event, while the boxing team amassed the bulk of the medals, two silvers from Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, and a bronze from Eumir Marcial.
"We wish to send our congratulations to our Olympians who performed creditably well in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and made all Filipinos extremely proud,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a press statement.
He praised the Filipino Olympians for their victories which placed the Philippines as the top-performing country among Southeast Asian nations in terms of weight of medals secured.
“We note that the recent Philippine delegation of 19 athletes is the best performing one in our history as more than 20 percent of them was able to achieve a podium finish. This, aside from others who were able to break our country's records in the sport which they participated in,” he added.
Panelo commended Diaz for making history as the country’s first gold medalist in 97 years.
“Highlighted by our first-ever gold medal victory by Hidilyn Diaz after nearly a hundred years of participation of our country in the Olympics, the Filipino athletes have proven that our race is a formidable competitor in the field of sports,” he said.
He said the three boxing medals also showed that this is the sport that Filipinos are exceptionally good at.
“We specifically congratulate our boxers, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, as well as Eumir Marcial, for their commendable performances in the Olympics where they got the silver and bronze, respectively. Truly, boxing is one of the sports Filipinos greatly excel in,” he added.
Panelo congratulated golfers, Juvic Pagunsan, Yuka Saso, and Bianca Pagdanganan, for being the first Filipinos to compete in the Golf Olympics with Saso finishing strong and validating her current world rank by climbing to ninth place against 60 participants.
He also recognized pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and skateboarder Margielyn Didal for “performing creditably” by representing the country in their respective sports.
“Not only do they make us all proud as a nation, but they have also inspired the new generation of the country’s athletes to follow the path of excellence trail-blazed by these current sports gladiators,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also thanked sports officials who made sure that the country’s athletes were “well taken care of” during their preparation and competition. (PNA)