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Asian Games 2023: Filipino athletes to watch out for in China (Part 1)

hidilyn diaz carlo paalam nesthy petecio eumir marcial ej obiena margielyn didal kayla sanchez

A number of the names anticipated to ship for the Philippines within the Asian Video games 2022 in Hangzhou.

The Asian Video games Hangzhou 2022 in 2023 is the following large subject of play for Filipino athletes after the Olympics and outdoors of their respective world championships.

From among the many 396 athletes from 40 sports activities who will carry their act to the nineteenth Asian Video games in China on Sept. 23-Oct. 8, just a few brilliant spots might emerge atop the medal platform.

EJ OBIENA (males’s pole vault)

EJ Obiena pole vault

FILE–Philippines’ EJ Obiena. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Palms-down a surefire gold winner if every little thing goes in line with plan, EJ Obiena solely has to undergo the motions of clearing the very best peak to his liking and the journey atop the rostrum can be clear as sunshine.

The world’s third-ranked vaulter not too long ago achieved one other record-shattering feat by taking the silver medal behind world champion Armand Duplantis within the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

However Obiena, who retained his Asian championships title two months in the past in Bangkok, Thailand, feels that he has unfinished enterprise within the Asian Video games after touchdown exterior of the medal stands in 2018 Indonesia.

So anticipate the Italy-based 27-year-old to go all out on this one together with his remaining soar trying to erase his personal Asian customary of six meters.


Kayla Sanchez swimming

Kayla Sanchez.—PSI PHOTO

The joy was palpable when Kayla Noelle Sanchez introduced with clear intent her need to put on the nationwide colours in all main abroad tournaments over a 12 months in the past.

From a pair of astounding medal performances for Canada’s relay group within the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the 22-year-old who grew up with each Filipino mother and father in Toronto simply couldn’t wait to dive into pool for Group Philippines within the Asian Video games.

This can be Sanchez’s maiden competitors underneath the nation’s tri-colors and medals are anticipated to pour within the girls’s 50-meter and 100-m freestyle in addition to within the 100m backstroke, occasions the place she might rule based mostly on Asian Video games clockings.

Sanchez can break the spell of almost three a long time of podium mishits for the nationwide swimming group with only a single medal. Making it three generally is a lot extra higher for a swim squad that final gained an Asiad gold again in 1982 New Delhi courtesy of William Wilson within the males’s 200m freestyle.

HIDILYN DIAZ-NARANJO (weightlifting)

Hidilyn Diaz during her golden World Championship effort. —INTERNATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION


The nation’s first and solely Olympic gold medalist can be again within the Asian Video games after rising triumphant in 2018 Jakarta.

However Diaz-Naranjo gained’t be competing within the girls’s 53kg anymore and determined to strive her luck within the 59kg in a bid to safe an Olympic berth for the fifth consecutive time subsequent 12 months in Paris.

Diaz-Naranjo pulled off a gold-medal coup throughout the 2021 Tokyo Olympics within the girls’s 55kg, a weight class scratched from the Paris program

Ending fourth at 59kg within the Asian weightlifting championships held in Jinju, South Korea final Might, Diaz-Naranjo is destined to face nice odds for a repeat act within the Asiad.

However for Hidilyn, the cliché “don’t underestimate the guts of a champion’’ at all times holds true.

NESTHY PETECIO (girls’s boxing)

Nesthy Petecio SEA Games 2023

FILE–Philippines’ Nesthy Alcayde Petecio. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

Proper after claiming a silver medal within the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Nesthy Petecio vowed for an additional tour of obligation atop the Olympic ring and make it gold subsequent 12 months in Paris. Petecio’s look within the finals of the ladies’s 57kg within the Asian Video games can be her ticket again to the Olympics.

This 12 months’s Asiad has been penciled in as a continental Olympic qualifier, the simplest pathway for Asians because the two succeeding qualification meets for Paris can be swamped by boxers from all continents.

The previous featherweight world champion hasn’t gained a medal within the Asian Video games and it will be good to pair that victory with an assured reservation within the French capital.

MARGIELYN DIDAL (skateboarding)

Margielyn Didal’s sudden rise to prominence got here immediately after bagging the fourth and remaining gold medal of Group Philippines within the 2018 Asian Video games.

The fearless Cebuana skateboard warrior even fueled her fame by pocketing two extra golds throughout the Philippine internet hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Video games held in Tagaytay Metropolis.

Didal joined Christiana Means as the primary Filipino girls skaters to compete within the Road League Skateboarding World Championships in 2019 held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and donned the nationwide colours once more within the Tokyo Olympics, putting seventh total within the finals.

The 24-year-old Didal damage her ankle badly throughout the Pink Bull Skate Ranges late final 12 months in Brazil. She instantly underwent surgical procedure and is anticipated to be within the pink of well being as soon as the Group Philippines flag-bearer within the Hangzhou Video games opening ceremony defends her Asiad title.


ngvar Convention Centre Hall G, Phnom Penh, Cambodia - May 14, 2023 Men's 54kg category gold medallist Philippines' Carlo Cano Paalam celebrates during the medal ceremony

FILE– Philippines’ Carlo Paalam. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

Carlo Paalam made his Olympic debut within the earlier Summer time Video games and rapidly turned an in a single day sensation following a silver medal within the males’s flyweight division of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Similar to fellow Olympic silver performer Nesthy Petecio, the 25-year-old from Talakag, Bukidnon is raring to return to the Olympics subsequent 12 months in Paris to satisfy an unfinished goal of snaring the gold medal.

Paalam is likewise decided to grab an Olympic berth by the Asian Video games, put in because the continental Olympic qualifier within the sport.

The problem can be a lot larger although, since Paalam was compelled to go up from his regular combating weight of 51kg to featherweight (57kg) after the flyweight division was expunged from the Paris program.

He put his gloves on as a bantamweight (54kg) within the Cambodia SEA Video games early this 12 months and simply struck gold. Paalam was a flyweight bronze performer on the 2018 Asian Video games in Jakarta, making the work within the coming Asiad lower out for him.


Bronze medalist Philippines' Eumir Marcial celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's middle (69-75kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 7, 2021.

FILE–Philippines’ Eumir Marcial. (Photograph by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

Turning skilled previous to the Tokyo Olympics skillfully labored in Eumir Marcial’s favor with an Olympic bronze medal as well.

The 2018 Asian Video games bronze medalist within the middleweight division has been dying for a return journey to the Olympics in 2024 Paris and can use the Asian Video games as his springboard to success.

With no single defeat in 4 skilled fights, the four-time SEA Video games champion Marcial sees the doable Paris stint as his swan music in newbie boxing.

However just like Carlo Paalam’s dilemma, Marcial has no recourse however to go up the ladder within the mild heavyweight division (80kg) on the Asian Video games, making it a doable journey wire to his Olympic golden dream.

The 27-year-old slugger from Zamboanga Metropolis, nonetheless, maintains an extremely optimistic mindset of getting the job executed because the mild heavy class is, the truth is, his strolling weight.

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