By GLORIA JANE BAYLON
Powerlifter Angeline Dumapong, silver medalist at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China and the first Filipino from her hometown to gain coveted sports medals, will be one of the Philippines’ sure bets to the Paralympics that go with the 30th Olympic Games that will be hosted by London 500 days hence.
Dumapong was among the stellar sports persons and local sports figures, led by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chair Jose Cojuangco, who joined the Manila launch this week of the United Kingdom’s “500 Days To Go” blitz into the summer Olympiad that London is hosting for the third time in July 2012.
The amiable Ambassador Stephen Lillie hosted the event at the embassy residence in Makati City, quite low-key when compared to London’s own worked-up launch befitting the 19-day extravaganza when 205 nations compete in 26 sports in 645 sessions across 36 venues.
“I want the Philippines to be a leading part of the greatest show on earth,” Lillie said in encouragement of Philippine participation.
“The Philippines has great athletes, great energy and enthusiasm for sports and there has been some transformation,” the ambassador continued. “In London, you will have a strong crowd to cheer you up,” apparently referring to the sizable 10,000 Filipino residents in the capital city.