Last Updated on July 2, 2021 by OJ Maño
Our kababayan Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan officially secured their slots to the Tokyo Olympics, confirmed by the Women’s Final Olympic Golf Rankings released by the International Golf Federation on Tuesday, June 29. Yes, both golfers have Bulakenya blood running in their veins.
Only the top 60 players will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and a maximum of two golfers from each country can participate in the event. The good news is Yuka Saso is the world no. 8, while Bianca Pagdanganan sits at the 44th spot. There is no doubt that they have all the potential to win the country’s first elusive Olympic gold medal.
We enjoin the nation in praying for your success in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Good luck, Yuka and Bianca! Good luck to all Filipino athletes! May you bring home the bacon. We are rooting for you!
Fresh from winning the recent US Women’s Open, Yuka Saso became the first Filipino golfer to win a major tournament. The 19-year-old Japanese-Filipina golfer wins the US Women’s Open Championship after beating Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, becoming the first Filipino to win in any of the LPGA Tour’s five major championships.
Saso was born in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, on June 20, 2001, to a Japanese father and a Filipina mother. Saso moved to Japan when she was four. “I couldn’t speak Japanese, and I didn’t have any friends, so my dad brought me to the driving range, to the golf course. That’s the only thing that I did,” she told Olympics.com.
Bianca Pagdanganan was born on October 28, 1997, and she’s from Mandaluyong City. She finished high school at the Assumption Antipolo in 2015. She then went to the United States and entered the Gonzaga University to pursue a major degree in sports management. After two years at Gonzaga, Pagdanganan transferred to the University of Arizona.
From 2015 to 2017, Pagdanganan played for the golf team of Gonzaga University. She later represented the University of Arizona and helped the Arizona Wildcats clinch the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships.
In the 2018 Asian Games, she clinched a bronze medal in the women’s event and a gold medal in the team event with Yuka Saso and Lois Kaye Go. At the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, she won individual and team gold medals.
“Playing for my country is always one of the greatest things that golf has given me. Not everyone is given that chance. It’s different when you’re playing for something bigger than yourself. Playing in the Olympics has always been a goal of mine,” she said in an interview with Business World.
We were able to contact Bianca Pagdanganan’s mother, Bing Bengzon Pagdanganan, through Facebook. She confirmed that they are related to the Pagdanganan’s of Calumpit, Bulacan. In fact, Bianca’s paternal grandfather is a cousin of Bulacan’s former Governor Roberto “Obet” Pagdanganan. Her maternal great-grandfather, Mr. Carlos Cunanan, is from Baliuag. This arguably proves that she has Bulacan roots indeed.
Tokyo Olympics 2020
Finally, the much-awaited 2020 Tokyo Olympics will officially commence on July 24 up to August 8, 2021. According to the Tokyo Olympic committee, the first 2 days will include the preliminary matches of football and softball, one of the new sports to be introduced to the Olympics. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23. The closing ceremony will be on the final day of the Olympics (August 8).
The Olympic Games are considered the world’s most prestigious sports competition, with more than 200 nations participating. However, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The games were rescheduled to July 24 of this year.
The Olympic Games is a quadrennial international multi-sport event celebrated as a global sports festival by people worldwide. The Olympic Games are held in both the summer and winter, aiming to cultivate people and world peace through sports.
According to Olympics.com, this is not the first time Japan to host the Olympics. In fact, Japan first hosted the Olympics in 1964.
Fifty-six years ago, the 19-year-old Yoshinori Sakai ignited a giant Cauldron with Torch to set in motion the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Sakai was chosen among the many volunteers because he was born on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics was seen as a symbol of hope and rejuvenation of Japan after the Second World War.
Like you, we can’t wait to see the historic opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Filipino Athletes qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
|Athletics – Women’s 200 m||Kristina Marie Knott|
|Athletics – Men’s Pole Vault||Ernest Obiena|
|Boxing – Men’s flyweight||Carlo Paalam|
|Boxing – Men’s middleweight||Eumir Marcial|
|Boxing – Women’s flyweight||Irish Magno|
|Boxing – Women’s featherweight||Nesthy Petecio|
|Golf – Men’s Division||Juvic Pagunsan|
|Golf – Women’s Division||Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan|
|Gymnastics – Men’s All-around||Carlos Yulo|
|Judo – Women’s 63 kg||Kiyomi Watanabe|
|Rowing – Men’s single sculls||Cris Nievarez|
|Shooting – Men’s air rifle 10-meter||Jason Valdez|
|Skateboarding – Women’s street||Margielyn Didal|
|Swimming – Men’s 50 & 100-meter freestyle events||Luke Gebbie|
|Swimming – women’s 100 & 200-meter butterfly events||Remedy Rule|
|Taekwondo – Men’s 58 kg||Kurt Barbosa|
|Weightlifting – Women’s 55 kg||Hidilyn Diaz|
|Weightlifting – Women’s 64 kg||Elreen Ando|