Philippines at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Philippines at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo

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Philippines at the
2020 Summer Olympics
Flag of the Philippines.svg
NOCPhilippine Olympic Committee
in Tokyo, Japan
Competitors19 (9 men and 10 women) in 11 sports
Flag bearer Eumir Marcial
Kiyomi Watanabe
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

The Philippines is competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Originally scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020, the Games have been postponed to 23 July to 8 August 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] Since the nation's official debut in 1924, Filipino athletes have appeared in every edition of the Summer Olympic Games, but did not attend the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the nation's partial support for the US-led boycott.



Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta was appointed in August 2019 as chef de mission of the Filipino delegation to the Games by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino.[2] Araneta succeeded Joey Romasanta who was appointed as chef de mission for the same edition of the Olympics by Tolentino's predecessor, Ricky Vargas.[3]

The preparation of the delegation was largely affected by travel restrictions imposed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In relation, Filipino businessman Enrique Razon has pledged to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippine delegation from Moderna.[4] Some athletes who had training outside the Philippines were vaccinated in their host countries.[5] The Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine government's sports agency, provided ₱200 million for the country's participation in the Olympics.[6]

Team Philippines' official kit will be provided by Asics Philippines, as announced on July 7. Asics is the same outfitter which provided the Philippines delegation's kit at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.[7]


The Philippines was targeting to qualify around 38 athletes for the Olympics[8] but only 19 athletes ultimately qualified. The Philippines made failed attempts to qualify athletes in archery, basketball (including 3x3), cycling, fencing, karate, surfing, and windsurfing. The country also intended to qualify athletes in canoeing, but they had to withdrew their athletes from the Asian qualifiers due to a positive COVID-19 result.[9]

Opening ceremony

For the opening ceremony, it was announced on 7 July 2021 that pole vaulter EJ Obiena and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe would be the flagbearers of the Philippines in the opening ceremony.[10] However, Obiena was dropped as one of the flagbearers, after a new protocol was introduced which required flagbearers to be in Tokyo 48 hours prior to the opening ceremony. Obiena was set to arrive on 23 July, the date when the opening ceremony was scheduled to be held.[11]Boxer Eumir Marcial was announced to be Obiena's replacement.[12] In the Parade of Nations, the Philippine delegation was represented by seven officials and two athletes. The officials wore ready-to-wear barong from the Filipino clothing company Kultura, topped off by a shawl made by Filipino fashion designer Rajo Laurel while the two athletes who served as flagbearers wore the tracksuits supplied by Asics.[13][14][15]

COVID-19 cases

The 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled for July to August 2021 is pushed through despite the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Some athletes set to compete in the games and officials have tested positive for COVID-19. The Philippine delegation was also affected by the disease, although no Filipino athlete has contracted COVID-19.

A single suspected COVID-19 case has been reported involving an unnamed member of the Philippine delegation in Tokyo.[16] The case involved a foreign coach who flew in from their home country on 21 July. With two prior negative RT-PCR tests, the coach was able to pass screening at Narita International Airport. The coach undergoing routine daily tests at the Athletes Village had a false positive result, but later yielded a negative result. The third result within the same day returned another false positive result. By that time the coach is already experiencing a fever. The following day, the Philippine Olympic Committee decided to not to allow the coach to join the rest of the delegation and to send the coach home as a means to mitigate risk.[17][18][19] By 23 July, the coach is already asymptomatic and in quarantine, isolated from the rest of the delegation. The coach's contacts has tested negative for COVID-19 and if the coach themselves tested negative they will be obliged to leave Japan.[20]

A sports official, who was meant to be part of the delegation, also tested positive while they were still in Manila. The official who was fully vaccinated was not able to join the delegation as a result of their positive COVID-19 test result.[21]


The following is the list of number of competitors in the Games.

Sport Men Women Total
Athletics 1 1 2
Boxing 2 2 4
Golf 1 2 3
Gymnastics 1 0 1
Judo 0 1 1
Rowing 1 0 1
Shooting 1 0 1
Skateboarding 0 1 1
Swimming 1 1 2
Taekwondo 1 0 1
Weightlifting 0 2 2
Total 9 10 19


Filipino athletes further achieved the entry standards, either by qualifying time or by world ranking, in the following track and field events (up to a maximum of 3 athletes in each event):[22][23]

  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round
Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Kristina Marie Knott Women's 200 m
Field events
Athlete Event Qualification Final
Distance Position Distance Position
EJ Obiena Men's pole vault


The Philippines entered four boxers (two per gender) into the Olympic tournament. 2019 world silver medalist Eumir Marcial (men's middleweight) and 2019 Southeast Asian Games runner-up Irish Magno (women's flyweight) secured places in their respective weight divisions, with the former advancing to the semifinals and the latter scoring a box-off triumph, at the 2020 Asia & Oceania Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan.[24][25][26] Reigning world champion Nesthy Petecio (women's featherweight) and Carlo Paalam (men's flyweight) completed the nation's boxing lineup by topping the list of eligible boxers from Asia and Oceania in their respective weight divisions of the IOC's Boxing Task Force Rankings.[27]

Preparation of the boxing delegation was affected by the quarantine measures in the Philippines imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with some boxers reportedly gaining extra 10 kilograms (22 lb) of weight due to relative idleness of boxers stranded in their home provinces.[28] Eumir Marcial is preparing for the Olympics in the United States, while the three other qualified boxers were sent to a training camp in Thailand.[29] The boxing team trained with Australian consultant coach Don Abnett.[30]

The draw which determined the Filipino boxers' opponent was held on 22 July 2021.[31]

Nesthy Petecio started the boxing team's campaign with a win against Marcelat Sakobi Matshu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[32]

Athlete Event Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Carlo Paalam Men's flyweight  Irvine (IRL)
Eumir Marcial Men's middleweight Bye
Irish Magno Women's flyweight  Ongare (KEN)
Nesthy Petecio Women's featherweight  Matshu (COD)
W 5–0
 Lin Y-t (TPE)


The Philippines entered three golfers (one male and two female) into the Olympic tournament. Juvic Pagunsan (world no. 216), Yuka Saso (world no. 8), and Bianca Pagdanganan (world no. 165) qualified directly among the top 60 eligible players for their respective events based on the IGF World Rankings.[33][34][35]

Athlete Event Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Total
Score Score Score Score Score Par Rank
Juvic Pagunsan Men's
Bianca Pagdanganan Women's
Yuka Saso



The Philippines entered one artistic gymnast into the Olympic competition for the first time since 1968. Nineteen-year-old Carlos Yulo booked a spot in the men's individual all-around and apparatus events, by topping the list of twelve gymnasts eligible for qualification at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.[36] Yulo is the first Filipino born in the 2000s to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

Yulo, after competing at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines went on to Japan to prepare for the Olympics. However he had an eight-month hiatus, with his next competition after the SEA Games being the All-Japan Senior Gymnastics Championships held in September 2020.[37] Yulo plans to perform a triple backflip in the Olympics to increase his chance of winning a gold medal; if successful, it would be the first time he will be able to do so in a competition.[38]

Athlete Event Qualification Final
Apparatus Total Rank Apparatus Total Rank
Carlos Yulo All-around


The Philippines qualified one judoka for the women's half-middleweight category (63 kg) at the Games. Kiyomi Watanabe accepted a continental berth from the Asian zone as the nation's top-ranked judoka outside of direct qualifying position in the IJF World Ranking List of June 28, 2021.[39][40]

Athlete Event Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Repechage Final / BM
Kiyomi Watanabe Women's −63 kg  Cabaña (ESP)


For the first time since 2000, the Philippines qualified one boat in the men's single sculls for the Games through Cris Nievarez's third place finish in the B-final and securing the fourth of five berths available at the 2021 FISA Asia & Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in Tokyo, Japan.[41][42]

Nievares is set to compete in the men's single sculls event to be contested at the Sea Forest Waterway, the same venue where he secured an Olympic berth for his country.[43]

Nievarez was the first athlete from the the Philippine delegation to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Ahead of the opening ceremony on 23 July, Nievarez clocked 7:22.97 in Heat 5 of the men's single sculls event, qualifying for the quarterfinals. In the heat, he finished behind Damir Martin of Croatia (7:09.17) and Alexander Vyazovkin of the ROC team (7:14.95).[44]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Cris Nievarez Men's single sculls 7:22.97 3 QF Bye

Qualification Legend: FA=Final A (medal); FB=Final B (non-medal); FC=Final C (non-medal); FD=Final D (non-medal); FE=Final E (non-medal); FF=Final F (non-medal); SA/B=Semifinals A/B; SC/D=Semifinals C/D; SE/F=Semifinals E/F; QF=Quarterfinals; R=Repechage


The Philippines granted an invitation from ISSF to send Jayson Valdez in the men's rifle shooting to the Olympics, as long as the minimum qualifying score (MQS) was fulfilled by June 6, 2021, marking the nation's return to the sport for the first time since London 2012.[45]

Athlete Event Qualification Final
Points Rank Points Rank
Jayson Valdez Men's 10 m air rifle


The Philippines entered one skateboarder into the Olympic tournament. Asian Games champion Margielyn Didal was automatically selected among the top 16 eligible skateboarders in the women's street based on the World Skate Olympic Rankings of June 30, 2021.[46]

Athlete Event Qualification Final
Rank Opposition
Margielyn Didal Women's street


The Philippines received a universality invitation from FINA to send two top-ranked swimmers (one per gender) in their respective individual events to the Olympics, based on the FINA Points System of June 20, 2021.[47] Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule qualified by satisfying the Olympic Standard Time for their respective individual events.[48]

Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Luke Gebbie Men's 50 m freestyle
Men's 100 m freestyle
Remedy Rule Women's 100 m butterfly
Women's 200 m butterfly


The Philippines entered one athlete into the taekwondo competition at the Games. Kurt Barbosa secured a spot in the men's flyweight category (58 kg) with a top two finish at the 2021 Asian Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan.[49][50]

Barbosa was drawn to face top-ranked South Korean athlete Jang Jun, who also won gold in the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships, in the Round of 16.[51] Barbosa lost to Jang, but he could have still played in the repechage to potentially clinch a bronze medal if the South Korean reached the final.[52] However Jang lost to Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi of Tunisia, which ended Barbosa's Olympic campaign.[53]

Athlete Event Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Repechage Final / BM
Kurt Barbosa Men's −58 kg  Jang J (KOR)
L 6–26
Did not advance


The Philippines entered two weightlifters into the Olympic competition. Rio 2016 silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz finished second of the eight highest-ranked weightlifters in the women's 55 kg category based on the IWF Absolute World Rankings, with rookie Elreen Ando topping the field of weightlifters from the Asian zone in the women's 64 kg category based on the IWF Absolute Continental Rankings.[54]

Athlete Event Snatch Clean & Jerk Total Rank
Result Rank Result Rank
Hidilyn Diaz Women's –55 kg
Elreen Ando Women's –64 kg

See also

External links


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  2. ^ Leyba, Olmin (14 August 2019). "Nonong Araneta chef de mission to Tokyo Games". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Vargas taps Romasanta as Philippine chef-de-mission". The Philippine Star. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  4. ^ Villar, Joey (8 April 2021). "Panlilio vaccine czar for Team Philippines". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  5. ^ News, ABS-CBN (10 June 2021). "Pinoy Olympians abroad to receive COVID-19 vaccine". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  6. ^ "POC all set for Tokyo Games". Tiebreaker Times. 1 July 2021. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  7. ^ "LOOK: Philippines to don Asics in Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Rappler. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ Go, Beatrice (22 January 2020). "PH targets 38 Olympians for Tokyo 2020". Rappler. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Abalayan: 19 Filipinos dare to dream". SunStar. 2 July 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  10. ^ "EJ Obiena, Kiyomi Watanabe named PH Tokyo 2020 Olympics flag bearers". Rappler. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  11. ^ Satumbaga-Villar, Kristel (14 July 2021). "EJ Obiena 'disheartened' after pullout as PH male flag bearer due to scheduling conflict". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Marcial replaces Obiena as Philippine flagbearer for Olympics". The Philippine Star. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  13. ^ "What Team Philippines will wear in Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony". Retrieved 2021-07-23.
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  17. ^ Times, Tiebreaker (22 July 2021). "Team Pilipinas to send home coach after 'back-and-forth' test results". Tiebreaker Times. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  18. ^ Talao, Tito (22 July 2021). "Good luck Team PH; foreign coach sent home for suspected COVID". Tempo. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
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  33. ^ Villar, Joey (23 June 2021). "Lucky 13th Tokyo slot goes to Juvic". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  34. ^ Valderrama, Aeron Paul (29 June 2021). "Saso, Pagdanganan formally joins Team Pilipinas for Tokyo Games". Tiebreaker Times. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  35. ^ Giongco, Mark (29 June 2021). "Saso, Pagdanganan officially book Tokyo Olympics slots". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  36. ^ Navarro, June (8 October 2019). "PH's top gymnast Carlos Yulo qualifies for Tokyo Olympics". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  37. ^ Pedralvez, Manolo (16 August 2020). "Gymnastics: Olympian Yulo breaks 8-month hiatus to join Japan tilt in September". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
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  39. ^ Messner, Nicolas (22 June 2021). "Tokyo 2020: Official Olympic Qualification List". International Judo Federation. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  40. ^ Reyes, Marc Anthony (25 June 2021). "Medal hopes high in Tokyo for Watanabe". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  41. ^ Pedralvez, Manolo (10 May 2021). "Pinoy rower Nievarez recalls upstream battle before achieving Olympic dream". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  42. ^ Dalupang, Denison Rey (17 July 2021). "A longshot for an Olympic medal, Nievarez rows to put his sport in spotlight". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  43. ^ "Rower Cris Nievarez gets Team PH going in Tokyo Games". ABS-CBN News. 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  44. ^ Morales, Luis (23 July 2021). "Rower Nievarez books quarterfinals spot in Men's Single Sculls". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  45. ^ "Quota Places by Nation and Number". ISSF. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  46. ^ "Didal officially qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics". Manila Bulletin. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  47. ^ Reyes, Marc Anthony (2 July 2021). "Swimmers Remedy Rule, Luke Gebbie complete PH Tokyo Olympics roster". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  48. ^ Henson, Joaquin (22 July 2021). "Swimmers not wildcard entries". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  49. ^ "Asian Qualification Tournament concludes with Olympic places for seven countries". World Taekwondo. 22 May 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  50. ^ Valderrama, Aeron Paul (22 May 2021). "Last second kick propels Kurt Barbosa to Tokyo Olympics". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  51. ^ Ochoa, Francis T. J. (22 July 2021). "Barbosa faces tournament favorite in opening taekwondo match". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  52. ^ Morales, Luisa (24 July 2021). "Taekwondo's Kurt Barbosa can still win an Olympic medal. Here's how". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  53. ^ Lojo, Michelle (24 July 2021). "Olympic medal quest ends for Filipino taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  54. ^ "PH weightlifter Elreen Ando gains Tokyo Olympics ticket". CNN Philippines. 12 June 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
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