By Mark Allan Cervantes
(July 29, 2021) – The last person from the 19-man Filipino contingent in the Tokyo Olympics has finally arrived.
One Sports correspondent Gretchen Ho reported on Twitter that golfer Bianca Pagdanganan was already at the Athlete’s Village early Thursday morning.
Golfer Bianca Pagdanganan has arrived!
— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) July 29, 2021
Pagdanganan, along with teammate and reigning US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso, will start their bid on Wednesday at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama. The country’s other golf bet Juvic Pagunsan is competing on the first day of the men’s tournament, as of posting.
Both Saso and Pagdanganan will enter the competition fully prepared as they just finished competing in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Michigan last month, with Saso finishing at 5th place and Pagdanganan ending up at 12th place.
The golf event in the Tokyo Olympics is spread over four days, as a field of 60 golfers from around the globe vie for the much-coveted gold medal.
The 24-year-old Pagdanganan, who hails from Quezon City but is now based in Arizona, qualified for her first Summer Games through the second qualification quota, where countries with less than two representatives in the world top 15 rankings can clinch the remaining 45 spots with a limit of two golfers per country.
While Pagdanganan just arrived in Japan’s capital, several Filipino Olympians have already returned home, headlined by gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, fellow weightlifter Elreen Ando, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa. Strict COVID-19 measures in the Tokyo Olympics forbid any extended stays for those who have already finished their event. (PM)