Hanoi — When Gabriel Monica Bidour’s arrow hit her mark in the final shootout against host Vietnam, it did not win a gold medal for the Philippines alone.
It also opened up a world of possibilities for the young archer squad.
Shot under the pressure of time, the 20-year-old’s shot pierced Bullsey and sealed a 10-9 victory for the Philippines, a win that would be a long way off: the Paris 2024 Olympics.
In Bidaur, her 23-year-old sister Pia Elizabeth Bidaur and 20-year-old Phoebe Amistoso are now preparing for the next Olympics as the world archery Philippine grassroots program is one step closer to her dream.
“We will compete for these girls in all possible Olympic qualifications for Paris,” said WAP Secretary-General Rosando Sombrio. “The future is certainly bright for Philippine archers at the Olympics.”
Judging from the women’s steel-nerve performance in the finals, WAP is actually on the right track.
The Philippines beat Bidaur 26-25 in a heartbreaking victory in a shootout at the Hanoi National Training Center.
“It simply came to our notice then. “It simply came to our notice then. After we shoot, the three of us talk and tell each other that we are going to get medals at the SEA Games.
And that belief did not go away, even in the midst of intense pressure with Gabriel.
“We had a lot of confidence in Abby (Gabriel),” Pia said. “We had a lot of faith that he would hit his mark even if he only had 10 seconds to shoot.”
According to Sombrio, Gabriel actually had a “hairline” opportunity to create the Tokyo Games. The cutoff was nine players; He was 10th.
Bidaure’s sister and Amistoso will also fight for the final qualifier of the Tokyo Games. But they did not fly to the Paris tournament because Amistoso tested positive for the Covid-19.
Now, the road to the French capital has been cleared for the trio.
“But they are not in a hurry, they are very young and something could still happen to them,” Sombrio added.
The men’s team of youngsters also finished fourth in the same event. Sombrio, however, said they were happy to consider flying to the youngest team.
Sombrio said, “We expected their (women’s team) medal, but not gold. “It’s hard to face the hosts for gold.”
The country has not won gold for a long time due to the discipline played in the Olympics. Earlier, all the Philippines had to show a gold medal in archery during the 2019 SEA Games.
The Archery Squad got its second gold chance as it battled Malaysia in the final of the bow mixed team event on Thursday.
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