New Bets To London Welcomed

MANILA, Philippines - News that two more Filipino athletes are joining the delegation to the London Olympics has left chief of mission Manny Lopez excited.

Lopez said he has been informed about the incasion of Mark Javier and Rachel Cabral by the National Archery Association of the Philippines but has yet to get the official notification from the London Olympics organizing committee.

"The news of their inclusion really makes us all happy," said Lopez, who was scheduled to share the spotlight with some of the London-bound athletes late last night during the official sendoff party at the Blue Leaf in Taguig.

Javier and Cabral posted decent numbers during a world meet that drew the participation of 35 countries. That event served as the third and last qualifying tournament for the London Games.

The Olympics is set July 27 to Aug. 12 and with Javier and Cabral as the latest bets to make the grade, the number of athletes has risen to 11.

Also on the team are Marestela Torres and Rene Herrera of athletics, Jasime Alkhaldi and Jessie Lacuna of swimming, Mark Anthony Barriga of boxing, Daniel Caluag of BMX cycling, Brian Rosario of shooting, Tomohiko Hoshina of judo and Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting.

The number of athletes can still go up to 12 should the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) grant the desperate plea of the country to include lightweight Charly Suarez.

The Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) leadership did not lose hope in its quest to field more than one qualifier when it batted for Suarez's inclusion.

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