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Christian Tio eyes 2024 Olympic gold

After bagging the Philippines’ first silver medal at the recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games, 17-year-old kiteboarder Christian Tio is eyeing a gold medal finish at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

“Kiteboarding will be an Olympic sport in 2024 in Paris, that’s part of the plan,” said Tio, in the press conference yesterday at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, joined by Philippine Sports Commission Commissioners Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram, YOG Chef de Mission and Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation President Jonne Go, and Tio’s mother Liezl Mohn.

“I got six more years to prepare and get better every day,” added the Filipino-Norwegian athlete. Team Pilipinas Chef de Mission Jonne Go intimated that she was banking on Tio when she learned that he qualified. “I looked over his credentials and had a gut-feel he will deliver.”

Agustin congratulated Tio “for giving us our first medal in Youth Olympic Games, since we participated in 2010” and assured him of PSC’s full support in his campaign going to 2024.

Tio shared the silver medal podium in the men’s kiteboarding twin tip racing with Toni Vodisek of Slovenia, while Deury Corniel of Dominican Republic won the gold.

“With all the postponements happening for the finals race, due to the inclement weather, I was already expecting for a fourth-place finish or just the bronze. But, I just went all in and made it through,” said the Boracay-native Tio.

“I am very proud of Christian for what he’s achieved,” said his mother Liezl, who is also a kiteboarder and who introduced Christian to the sport at the age of 7.

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Meanwhile, Kiram shared that by virtue of R.A. 10699, Christian is set to receive two million, five-hundred thousand pesos (PHP 2,500,000.00) in cash incentives, with his coach receiving the equivalent of fifty percent of Tio’s incentive.

Incentives of Tio and the 2018 Asian Paragames medalists will be awarded at the Malacañang Palace next month.

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