Filipino Olympians receive financial aid ahead of Paris 2024

(From left) boxers Nesthy Petecio, Hergie Bacyadan, and Aira Villegas, fencer Samantha Kyle Lim Catantan, and ABAP Secretary General and Executive Director Marcus Manalo. The four Filipino athletes received their financial assistance ahead of the Paris Olympics. (Handout/Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez)

Four Filipino Olympians received financial assistance on Monday from the office of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.

The athletes benefiting from this support are boxers Nesthy Petecio, Hergie Bacyadan, and Aira Villegas, as well as fencer Samantha Catantan. They are the third group of athletes headed to the Paris Summer Games to receive such aid.

“As we look forward to the Paris Olympics, I am filled with immense pride and admiration for our Filipino athletes who exemplify the spirit of excellence and resilience,” House Speaker Romualdez said.

The cash assistance was handed over by Deputy Speaker and Antipolo 1st District Rep. Roberto Puno, with the athletes being accompanied by ABAP Executive Director Marcus Manalo.

Catantan made history by qualifying in late April through the Asia Oceania Zonal Olympic Qualifiers 2024 in Dubai, becoming the first Filipino fencer to secure a spot in the Summer Games in 32 years.

Bacyadan and Villegas will also be making their Olympic debuts in Paris. Petecio, who won a silver medal in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, is set to compete in the Summer Games for the second time.

To date, 15 Filipino athletes have qualified for the Paris Summer Games. The Philippine Olympic Committee expects more athletes to secure their spots in the coming weeks. Boxing leads the delegation with the most athletes, including Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial joining Villegas, Petecio, and Bacyadan.

Earlier recipients of financial assistance from the Office of the Speaker include gymnasts Levi Jung-Ruivivar and Carlos Yulo, weightlifters John Ceniza, Eireen Ando, and Vanessa Sarno, and rower Joanie Delgaco.

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