Boxer is Philippines' main hope for Olympic medal

Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga is the Philippines' main hope for gold at the London Games, sports officials said Saturday, with the light-flyweight aiming to be the country's first Olympic champion.

The 19-year-old, a quarter-finalist at the world championships in Azerbaijan last year, is facing tough odds, said Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.

But he added: "We think he has a decent chance of winning. That is why he is there. If we did not think he had a chance, we would not send him."

The Philippines has an impressive record in professional boxing, with two current world champions -- Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.

And Barriga also has a good record, with wins at the annual Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament in Uzbekistan in 2011 and 2012.

The head of the Philippine Sports Commission, Richie Garcia, said: "He has a very good chance of winning in his weight category. He seems to have the spirit and determination to win.

"He is not somebody who came out of nowhere. He has a track record and he can win."

Garcia said the Philippines will have only a small squad of 11 athletes in London after many promising contenders failed to qualify in their respective sports.

The country has suffered a long medal drought, with its last podium finish -- a silver in boxing -- coming in the Atlanta games in 1996. It has never won gold but did bag bronze medals, also in boxing, in 1992 and 1988.

Garcia, whose agency is in charge of funding national athletics programmes, said he favoured a proposal to bring in more foreign coaches.

The boxing association is considering hiring a "consultant", possibly from Kazakhstan, the United States or Britain to help upgrade its programme, Picson said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files "Gutom (hunger)," Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options