12 PH athletes get IOC’s Olympic Solidarity scholarship

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Twelve Filipino athletes have been awarded by the International Olympic Committee with scholarships under the Olympic Solidarity Movement and will receive a monthly IOC stipend of $500 (about P22,300) each.

The 12—taekwondo jins John Paul Lizardo, Kristopher Robert Uy, Christian dela Cruz and Kirstie Elaine Alora, swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi, canoeing’s Hermie Macaranas, shooters Amparo Acuna and Hagen Topacio, boxers Irish Magno and Eumir Felix Marcial and golfers Clare Legaspi and Princess Superal—also earned the rare chance to pre-qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

They will all receive the $500 monthly allowance, retroactive to last month, until the opening of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The Philippine Olympic Committee will confer their scholarship during the body’s general assembly today at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

POC first vice president Joey Romasanta said the IOC will bankroll the cost of competing in the Olympic qualifiers for these athletes as well as part of their training expenses.

“They have two chances each to qualify and I hope they make it,” said Romasanta, who is also president of the Philippine Karatedo Federation.

Romasanta said the IOC has given the POC the authority to release the allowances to the athletes. The stipend, though, will be cut if an athlete fails to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Philippines has not won an Olympic medal since 1996, when boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco bagged a silver medal in Atlanta.

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