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RIO DE JANEIRO – Kirstie Elaine Alora, the last Filipino athlete to compete in the Rio Olympics, carried the country’s colors in Sunday’s closing ceremonies at the iconic Maracana Stadium.
The Rio Olympics came to a close, and the Tokyo Olympics was formally introduced.
Alora said if she stays fit, she will give the Olympics another shot in 2020, hoping to do better than her already gallant stand last Saturday.
“If our association still wants me to, I will try to qualify,” said Alora.
International Olympic Commtitee president Thomas Bach said the Rio Olympics, like all the rest, will be remembered with joy.
For the Philippines, which won a silver medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, it’s time to move on to the next battles ahead – the SEA Games, Asian Games and then Tokyo.
Chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta gave an assessment of the Philippine participation here.
He called it “a good run” in that the country ended a 20-year medal drought in the Olympics. Diaz came here eyeing the bronze in the women’s 53 kg class, and won the silver.
Medals can be won in the Olympics, according to Romasanta, if the Philippines does what needs to be done. He said it has to do a better job discovering talents that can deliver the goods.
“It’s about time we come up with a really organized approach, a documented program, professional in manner, management style,” he said.
“We need a third eye. We need to commission an independent with the objective of assessing what really has to be done,” said the first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Romasanta is speaking from experience because as head of the now-defunct Project: Gintong Alay, he managed to steer the country to great heights in sports.
“We need an agency or a group to champion this. I’m batting for a management group to help everybody through it and to help organize our plans,” he said before the closing ceremony.