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Which Philippine University has the most students at the Tokyo Olympics?

Team Prosple

Team Philippines has big expectations for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Games. The nation’s team of athletes consists of 19 men and women, and they will be competing in 11 different sports. 

Some of the athletes on the team are graduates from universities in the Philippines, which begs one question - Which Philippine university has the most students and alumni at the Tokyo Olympics? Let’s find an answer, shall we?

University of Baguio

Number of athletes: 4

Events: Boxing

athletes in a boxing ring

Image source: Facebook

Nesthy Petecio 

Nesthy Petecio  is a 29-year-old boxer born in Davao. She currently lives in Baguio, Philippines. Nesthy graduated from the University of Baguio. Being ambidextrous has helped her propel her career as a boxer. She works with two coaches - Nolito Velasco and Reynaldo Galido. Nesthy debuted as a boxer in 2010. However, she has been training since she was seven years old. 

Her talent, dedication, and hard work paid off. Nesthy managed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games thanks to her IOC Boxing Task Force rankings. One of her most famous quotes is - “No stopping until there is no gold."

Irish Magno

Irish Magno is a 30-year-old Criminology student from the University of Baguio. She began boxing at the age of 16 to help improve her family’s financial situation and is now being coached by one of the Philippines’ veteran boxing mentors, Nolito Velasco.

 In 2012, she bagged her first gold medal in the Taipei Open in Taiwan. Through her sheer determination, Irish Magno sets history as being the first-ever Filipina boxer to get a chance to compete in the Olympics.

Carlo Paalam

Carlo Paalam is a 23-year-old and a member of the University of Baguio Cardinals Team. He is the youngest boxer from our Philippine contingent to join the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

He began boxing in 2009 when one of his neighbours encouraged him to start boxing after seeing him in a backyard match. Carlo was discovered by boxing officials when he participated in a ‘Boxing at the Park’ event and ultimately secured a spot at the 2020 Olympic Games through the IOC Boxing Task Force rankings.

Eumir Marcial

Eumir Marcial is a 25-year-old boxer born in Zamboanga. From the University of Baguio, he now also serves in the Philippine Air Force. He hails from a family of boxers where his father coached young aspiring boxers in their hometown. 

He trained from the age of seven and began boxing in 2008. “My cousin, he was on the national team before and also a professional boxer too. He was famous in my province before. I said to my father I want to become like my cousin. So my father started training me, kept me disciplined, every day. I'd hear my father, 'You need discipline, train hard, someday you [will] become Olympic gold medallist'." (aiba.org, 05 Sep 2015; boxingnewsonline.net, 24 Apr 2021)

Adamson University

Number of athletes: 2

Events: Shooting, Artistic Gymnastics

athletes holding their medal

Image source: Instagram

Carlos Edriel Yulo

Athlete Spotlight: Carlos Edriel Yulo is a 21-year-old athlete that competes under the Philippines flag for a medal in Artistic Gymnastics. He graduated from Adamson University in Manila. Carlos got interested in gymnastics when he was only seven years old, thanks to his grandfather, who took him to a gymnastics tryout because Carlos was very active as a child. 

So far, he has accomplished remarkable results in Artistic Gymnastics, especially in the Floor Exercise category. He took first place in Floor Exercise during the World Championship 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. Carlos works with his coach Munehiro Kugimiya. His famous quote is - “Be patient, listen to your parents and your coach, and of course be disciplined.”

Jayson Valdez

Athlete Spotlight: Jayson Valdez is a 25-year-old athlete representing the Philippines in the air rifle 10-meter event of the Olympics. He is currently taking up Business Administration studies at Adamson University.

Jayson is the son of three-time SEA games champion Julius Valdez and the only Filipino shooter to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics since 2012. He joined the Philippine team in 2009 and his dream to win the Olympic gold medal has been there since 2018. He hopes to join the Army to support his family after his commitments as an athlete.

University of Santo Tomas

Number of athletes: 1

Events: Athletics

athelete vaulting

Image source: Facebook

Ernest John “EJ” Obiena

Ernest John Obiena is a 25-year-old Philippine athlete. He is studying at the University of Santo Tomas focused on obtaining a degree in Electronic Engineering. For Obiena, everything started when he was six years old. This is how he explains it - “I was jumping with my dad and saw how fun it was. I got interested in the fun element of watching people free-falling with the pole after flinging themselves 16 feet into the air.”

Once he had the pole vault in his hands, he knew that Athletics is his true calling. Obiena works with his coach Vitaly Petrov and trains between Italy and the Philippines. His current personal best vault is 5.87m!

University of Cebu

Number of athletes: 1

Events: Weightlifting

athlete weightlifing

Image source: Facebook

Elreen Ann Ando

Elreen Ann Ando is a 22-year-old athlete from Cebu, Philippines. She is a student at the University of Cebu, where she is also a member of the University of Cebu weightlifting club. Ann currently works with her coach Ramon Solis. 

At the Word Championship at Pattaya, Thailand, she was 11th overall, 10th in Snatch, and 17th in the Clean & Jerk categories. Her best result so far was 2nd place overall at Asian Championship at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

Number of athletes: 1

Events: Weightlifting

Diaz with hands raised lifting a barbel

Image source: Facebook

Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz is a 30-year-old athlete from Zamboanga, Philippines. She initially enrolled in the Universided de Zamboanga, for a degree in Computer Science but had put her studies on hold to pursue her career in weightlifting. A year after bagging the silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, she decided to pursue her degree and enrolled for a Business Management degree at De La Salle - College of St. Benilde. 

She got interested in weightlifting at the age of 11 by watching her cousins work out. “What are they doing? It looks like fun, and that's how I started.” - she said in one interview.

Diaz has an incredible track record, having placed 1st in the 2018 Asian Games, 2nd at Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, and 4th at the Asian Championships 2020 held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Diaz became the first Filipino to ever win an Olympic gold medal, recently taking out the women's 55 kg category for weightlifting at Tokyo and becoming the Olympic weightlifting record holder in the process!