In this XXX Olympiad, our country--the Philippines had sent 11-Athletes to represent our country in different events. The Chief De Mission is Mr. Manny Lopez -Vice President of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
To run down the qualified athletes, they are : Boxing - Mark Anthony Barriga, Swimming - Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna, Archery- Mark Javier and Rachelle Ann Cabral, Athletics - Rene Herrera and Maristela Torres, BMX Racing - Daniel Calauag, JUdo - Fili-Japanese - Tomohiko Hoshina, Shooting - Paul Brian Del Rosario and Weightlifting - Hidilyn Diaz. Hidilyn was the flag bearer during the Olympic Opening Ceremony. The first woman to carry our nation's flag
While it has been observed that our contenders were slowly bowing out of their respective competition, one man raises our hopes as he brilliantly delivered in his event. The main man of the hour is non-other than MARK ANTHONY BARRIGA - Boxer extraordinaire.
Obviously, we are a country abundant with boxers.
We have our legends. We have our champions.
We call them heroes. Ever since we participated in the biggest sporting event in the world - OLYMPICS, we always have entries in boxing. Sometimes, it numbers to three or more. We even have our medalists in it.
We were graced by a bronze medal courtesy of Jose Villanueva in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. And it was followed by the most controversial bout we've had ever witnessed when we were clearly cheated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where our bet Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco Jr
fought hard all the way to the finals but we're shun-out of gold medals when the infamous ring judges favored that guy from Bulgaria. I can't forget that incident. Even our former President Fidel Valdez Ramos we're shocked of the decision.
On this era of the Olympics, we're shy of many boxers as we only sent one contender, or should I say, only one had qualified to be included in the London 2012 Olympics.
I am speaking of a petite, relatively good-looking young man -Mark Anthony Barriga. He hailed from Panabo, Davao Del Norte.
He raise the bar of hope for us Filipinos when he brilliantly pummeled his Italian opponent in the Round of 32 boxing match. A win that earned him a safe passage to the next round (Round 16). He will face the Kazakhs pugilist Birzhan Zakypov.
Truly, the resilient spirit of Pinoys emerges in Mark as he was never discouraged to fight with an opponent 4-inches higher than him. There are few more fight to contend before the medal round but I believe with Mark's stinging jabs and grace in the ring a medal isn't impossible. The whole country will pray for you as you solely lifts our hopes of the elusive first gold medal from the Olympics.
CONGRATULATIONS and GOOD LUCK!