THE first group of Philippine athletes and officials received a warm welcome from their London-based countrymen, tired after a long journey from Manila, but excited and eager to join the free training camp ahead of the 30th Olympic Games.
Shooter Brian Rosario and swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna shook hands and exchanged pleasantries from PH embassy and Filipino community officials, while getting best wishes during the hot reception accorded them upon arrival late last week at the Heathrow airport.
“Good luck and more power to all of you as you strive to win a medal,”embassy official Rey Catapang told the group that also included coaches Ray Brosas of swimming and Gay Corral of shooting and administrative officer Arsenic Lacson.
During their turn to speak, the athletes, wearing their team jackets, promised to give their best shot, while telling their kababayans the gains they could get out of their 15-day stay in the camp introduced for the first time in the Games.
Told of the hot welcome the team received, PH team chief of mission Manny Lopez thanked the embassy and Filipino community for the “kind gesture that will definitely boost the morale of our Olympians.”
From the airport, the group proceeded to their respective training camps by bus, with Alkhaldi, Lacuna and Brosas settling down at the sprawling Surrey Sports Park in Guildford and Rosario staying at the centuries-old EJ Churchill shooting range set amid 40 acres of woodland in West Wycombe Estate.