Marcial subs for Obiena as PH flag-bearer in Olympics opening

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Eumir Marcial, one in every of boxing’s brightest hopes for an Olympic medal, has extra flexibility in his schedule to take care of flag-bearing
chores. —SHERWIN VARDELEON

Boxer Eumir Marcial will sub for Ernest John Obiena because the nation’s male flag-bearer for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, a activity the nation’s prime pole vaulter had been wanting ahead to.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino mentioned they arrived on the determination since they don’t see any battle with Marcial’s coaching and competitors schedule in the course of the showpiece occasion’s parade of countries.

“He has probably the most versatile schedule earlier than and after the opening ceremony,’’ mentioned Tolentino.

Flagbearers needs to be in Tokyo at the least 48 hours earlier than the opening rites of the Olympics, prompting the POC to switch Obiena, who will arrive within the Japanese capital only a few hours earlier than the exercise.

“I proudly accepted the place to boost the flag of the nation I used to be born and raised in, however there are issues which might be out of my management,” Obiena posted on social media on Wednesday.

“I’m drastically disheartened to say the least that I used to be withdrawn to be the flag bearer for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics,” he mentioned. “We’ll nonetheless be holding our head excessive and reppin the crimson, blue and white with delight. Thanks for all of your help via this powerful time, it’s what retains me going.”

Marcial will carry the flag with judo star Kiyomi Watanabe. “Now we have already knowledgeable Eumir about his activity and we’re very grateful to EJ for understanding as a result of he can’t rebook his flight anymore,’’ mentioned Tolentino.

Marcial, the Southeast Asian Video games middleweight champion, boarded a number of flights from his coaching camp in Colorado Springs in the USA on Thursday and is scheduled to reach in Tokyo this Saturday.

“Due to protocols, EJ needs to be anticipating delays on the airport and that might make it unattainable for him to catch the opening ceremony,” mentioned Tolentino.

Marcial is about to start his marketing campaign within the spherical of 32 on July 26. Watanabe will compete in girls’s -63 kilograms of judo on July 27.

—With a report from Mark Giongco

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