HANGZHOU, China — After the male gymnasts bowed out one after the other, the Philippine gymnastics team is counting on the two remaining female athletes in the 19th Asian Games here.
“We only have two female gymnasts left and they are both in the finals,” said Gymnastics Association of the Philippines deputy secretary-general Rowena Bautista Tuesday.
Kursten Rogue Lopez, who will turn 18 in November, will vie in the individual all-around finals on Wednesday at Huanglong Sports Centre Gymnasium beginning at 3 p.m.
Then Charlie Manzalo, another 17-year-old who was into ballet before shifting to gymnastics, will see action in the vault finals on Thursday.
“We’re so happy they made it to the finals,” said Bautista of the two gymnasts, both winners of the team gold in the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi.
The male gymnasts led by Miguel Besana and Justine Ace de Leon are already out of contention here but continue to train.
“While they’re still here, tuloy ang training,” said Bautista.
The team can only hope for the best in the absence of two-time world champion Carlos Yulo who is currently in Belgium for the Artistic Gymnastics World Championship, which serves as a qualifier for the Paris Olympics.