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4 RP soldiers gun for Olympic gold

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:22:00 07/16/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Four Filipino soldiers will be on the hunt for a gold at the Beijing Olympics next month, including Army Sergeant Harry Tañamor, the country’s lone hope for a boxing medal.

Tañamor called on Armed Forces chief of stff General Alexander Yano in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, ahead of his departure for China, and vowed to do everything he could to bring home the elusive gold medal.

The three other soldier-Olympians are: Corporal Maristella Tores (athletics), Airman First Class Tshomlee Go (taekwondo), and Chief Petty Officer Ramon Solis (weightlifting).

They went to Beijing ahead of Tañamor.

“Gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko [I will do everything I can],” said the soft-spoken Tañamor, a light flyweight who will make his second consecutive appearance in the Summer Olympics.

Tañamor made it to the quarterfinals of the 2004 Athens Olympics but was then knocked out by Korean Hong Moo-Won.

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, an enlisted Navy man, won a silver in boxing.

“This is our only hope for a medal in boxing in the forthcoming Beijing Olympics and we are very proud because he is a member of the Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Yano said of Tañamor.

“Let’s pray for the success of his bouts, we all know that the Olympics gathers the best boxers in the world,” Yano said.

Tañamor said he considers Chinese boxer Zou Shiming, who beat him in the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago last year, as his most formidable opponent.

Pressed by reporters, Tañamor said he considers boxing more difficult than soldiery, because it involves more “pressure.”

Tañamor’s coach is also an Army man. Sergeant Patricio Gaspi will accompany him to China.

His first fight is set on August 13.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-07-16T09:10:41+00:00UTC07bUTCWed, 16 Jul 2008 09:10:41 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

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