The son of a retired national team member became the 12th Filipino athlete to officially qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 25-year old Jayson Valdez, a Philippine Olympic Committee scholar, got confirmation that he has earned a slot in the men’s air rifle 10-meter event from the Philippine National Shooting Association.
Jayson is the son of Julius Valdez, a three-time Southeast Asian Games champion who won three gold medals and one silver at the 1987 SEA Games.
PNSA secretary general Iryne Garcia said she learned of Valdez’s status through an email sent to her on Friday by the Munich-based International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
“On behalf of PNSA and POC, it is with much pride that I announce that our very own Jayson Valdez has qualified for a quota slot in the 10m Air Rifle Men event in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics,” said Garcia in a statement released on the PNSA’s Facebook page.
Valdez made the minimum qualifying scores or MQS for his participation in the World Cup and Asian qualifying tournaments.
“That’s an additional chance for us,” Philippine Olympic Committee President and Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino said.
Valdez’s eligibility put an end to an eight-year wait for a Filipino qualifier in the sport.
The last time a Filipino shooter made it was when Paul Brian Rosario competed in men’s skeet as a wild card entry in London 2012.
Valdez now joins 11 other Olympic qualifiers: boxers Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Felix Marcial; pole vaulter EJ Obiena; gymnast Carlos Yulo; skateboarder Margielyn Didal; taekwondo jin Kurt Bryan Barbosa; rower Cris Nievarez; and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Erleen Ann Ando.
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