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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, January 19, 2011
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ABAP targets
2012 Olympic gold

Winning a gold medal in next year’s 2012 London Olympics remains a top priority of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.

The organization is eyeing bigger tournaments for its pool of talents, such as the Olympic Qualifying in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Satellite, in September and in Kazakhstan next year.

All quarterfinalists in Azerbaijan will earn Olympic slots while only the gold and silver medalists in Kazakhstan will head to London.

ABAP president Ricky Vargas told Manila-based sportswriters yesterday that while it is important for the country to surpass the number of medals it won in the Laos Southeast Asian Games, elite boxers, who will compete in the Olympic Qualifying, might not be in Indonesia in November. to represent he country in the 2011 SEAG.

The Philippines won five gold, one silver and three bronze medals in the 2009 SEA Games, a very big jump from the boycott-marred 2007 edition in Thailand where the Filipinos won a single gold courtesy of Annie Albania.

The gold winners in Laos were pinweight Bill Vicera and featherweight Charly Suarez in the men's side, and pinweight Josie Gabuco, lightfly Alice Aparri and Albania (flyweight) in the women's side.

Rey Saludar won the flyweight gold and his younger brother the light-fly silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Vargas said as much as the Philippines wants to keep its flag hoisted in the SEA Games, the bigger goal up ahead is the Olympics, and the hope that the country finally wins the elusive gold medal.*PNA



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