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Pacquiao pledges P5M for Olympic gold

Manny PacquiaoPound-for-pound king and sports advocate Manny Pacquiao yesterday pledged P5 million to the first Filipino athlete who will win the elusive gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Pacquiao made that commitment as a sign of his support to national athletes, majority of whom took part in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore two weeks ago.

“Ang pledge ko, pagka-next year may naka-gold (medal), P5 million,” said Pacquiao before the media shortly after he formally donated some boxing memorabilia from his previous fights for the Philippine Sports Museum.

“Kahit anong sport, basta magka-gold sa Olympics… wala pa tayong gold sa Olympics, hindi ba?” he added.

The additional incentive hopes to boost national athletes in their campaign as they have been persistently trying to end the country’s gold-medal draught in the Olympiad.

No one has won the gold in the Olympics, while only two athletes – boxers Onyok Velasco (1996 Atlanta) and Anthony Villanueva (1964 Tokyo) – only managed to win silver medals.

The government has been giving financial incentives to Olympic medalists under the Incentive Act, where P5 million will be given to gold medalists, P2.5 million to silver winners and P1 million to bronze medalists.

Meanwhile, a corner inside the Philippine Sports Museum located inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex will be dedicated to Pacquiao. It will be filled with memorabilia such as signed posters and painting, gloves and trunks.

During the ceremony at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City that also coincided with the Sports For All Conference for coaches nationwide, Pacquiao raffled off P10,000 to 10 lucky participants of the conference.