It is the year where the female athlete is ready to soar high to fight for the gold for Olympics 2020 that is set to happen in Tokyo, Japan.
The Team Philippines that will compete in the Olympics consist of 19 members and 10 of them are strong and dedicated women that will conquer the world of sports.
These ladies sacrificed their time, sweat, and literally tears in training to become the best in their respective sports.
Let us know who the women are gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
1. Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting)
Diaz became known when she bagged a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is a historical win because it was the country’s third silver medal that marked an end to a 20-year medal drought in the Olympics.
In 2008, Diaz made her debut in Beijing Olympics and qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.
After that, Diaz kept collecting medals from various international competitions, such as gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The 30-year-old weightlifter is hoping to bag a medal in this year’s Tokyo Olympics. This is her fourth year straight joining the competition.
Diaz is set to compete in the 55kg class on July 26. She’s been eyeing for the gold medal and to beat China’s top-ranked Jiang Huihua.
2. Elreen Ando (Weightlifting)
The 22-year-old Cebu Native just returned from the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan, where she won two silver medals and one bronze, is Elreen Ando.
She is also considered as Hidilyn Diaz’s successor as she continues to compete at Asian Weightlifting Content.
Ando also won a silver medal in the 2019 SEA Games and earned her spot in the Olympics through the continental quota.
She is set to represent the Philippines in the women’s 64kg weightlifting event on Tuesday, July 27, at the Tokyo International Forum.
3. Margielyn Didal (Skateboarding)
Margielyn Didal was named Asia Skater of the Year in 2021 and has appeared on lists of renowned publications such as the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 and the 2018 Time Magazine’s Most Influential Teens.
She is set to complete the “golden trio” following her outstanding performances at the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 SEA Games Street events. The 22-year-old Skateboarding sensation is currently ranked 13th in the world and ready to make her debut at the Olympics.
Didal will represent the country in a women’s skateboarding-street event on Monday, July 26, at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
4. Nesthy Petecio (Boxing)
Nesthy Petecio is a Filipina boxer who rose to fame after winning gold at the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Before she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, Petecio had suffered a series of crucial losses, including a controversial loss at the 2018 Asian Games. She also fell short of securing an Olympic berth in the Asia and Oceania qualifiers at first.
After all the challenges, Petecio was able to overcome those and became more determined in winning medals for her first Olympic competition.
Petecio will represent the country in the women’s featherweight boxing event on Saturday, July 24, at the Kokugikan Arena.
5. Irish Magno (Boxing)
The Ilo-Ilo native Irish Magno is the first-ever Filipina boxer to qualify for the Olympics after winning a boxing match for one of six Olympic spots in the women’s flyweight event in Asia and Oceania qualifiers.
However, Magno has never won a gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games, only a silver last December, another silver in 2015, and a bronze in 2013. She never had a chance to advance past the opening preliminaries at the AIBA World Championships in 2014, 2016, and 2019.
Magno will represent the country in the women’s flyweight boxing event on Sunday, July 25, at the Kokugikan arena.
6. Yuka Saso (Golf)
The 20-year-old Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso won the US Women’s Open golf championship last June.
Saso became known in Philippine sports after earning a double gold medal, the country’s first, at the 2018 Asian Games. She ranked No. 8 in the world, and qualified for the Japan Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association (JLPGA), where she won back-to-back gold medals in her rookie season.
Saso will represent the country in a women’s golf event on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Kasumigaseki Golf Club.
7. Bianca Pagdanganan (Golf)
Pagdanganan gained attention during her rookie season on the LPGA when she won ninth place in the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championships.
The Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist was dubbed the “future and a revolutionary figure of women’s pro golf” by LPGA.com.
In 2018, she won gold with Saso as her partner at the 2018 Asian Games, and also bronze in the individual event.
Pagdanganan will represent the country in the women’s golf event on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Kasumigaseki Golf Club.
8. Kiyomi Watanabe (Judo)
With four consecutive SEA Games gold medals, Watanabe has proven time and again that she is the best in the region.
According to the International Judo Federation’s official qualification, the 24-year-old Filipino-Japanese earned a spot in the Olympics through continental quota in the women’s 63kg division.
Despite falling short of a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, Watanabe is hoping for a boost in her Olympic campaign from both Filipinos and Japanese.
Watanabe also shared the stage with Marcial during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the Philippines’ female flag bearer.
Watanabe will represent the country in the women’s 63kg judo event on Tuesday, July 27, at the Nippon Budokan.
9. Kristina Knott (Athletics)
Kristina Knotts is considered to be the Philippine’s sprint queen when she broke the SEA Games record twice in one day in the women’s 200m event.
She currently holds the Philippine record of 23.01 seconds, which is set in 2019 SEA Games. She surpassed Lydia de Vega’s old record that was 23.35 seconds.
Knott will represent the country in the women’s 200m run on Monday, Aug. 2, at the Olympic Stadium.
10. Remedy Rule (Swimming)
The 24-year-old swimmer represented the Philippines in the 2019 FINA World Championships for the first time, and she also competed in the 2019 SEA Games, where she won silver in the 200m butterfly and bronze in the 200m freestyle.
She secured Olympic berths via universality places by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to complete the country’s delegation.
Despite having a superb history in her swimming career, she decided that the Tokyo Olympics would be her last competition as she decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Biology at the University of Miami.
Rule will compete in the women’s 200m freestyle on Saturday, July 24, and 200m butterfly on Tuesday, July 27 at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.
Photo Credit: Hidilyn Diaz | Facebook, Elreen Ando | Facebook, Tokyo 2020 | Twitter, Coach Jeaneth Aro | Facebook, Irish Magno | Facebook, Yuka Saso | Instagram, @biancapagda | Instagram, Kiyomi Watanabe | Facebook, Kristina Knott | Instagram, Remedy Rule | Instagram