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2024 Summer Olympics

Hurdlers John Cabang, Lauren Hoffman secure Olympic debut for Team Pilipinas

A pair of Fil-foreign hurdlers will make their Olympic debut for Team Pilipinas.

John Cabang and Lauren Hoffman officially secured their spots in Paris later this month after a year-long, arduous qualification period, announced by the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association on Tuesday.

Cabang, the Asian Indoors bronze medalist in the men’s 100-meter hurdles, amassed 1250 points, enough to place 30th out of 40 possible qualifiers in the World Athletics rankings.

The Basque Country standout, a late addition to the 2023 Asian Championships squad, recently shattered his previous mark.

He set a new national record of 13.37 seconds at the National Championships last May at Philports Complex in Pasig.

Meanwhile, Hoffman narrowly made the cut in the fierce competition for berths in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, finishing 39th out of 40 with 1223 points.

The Fil-American star also holds a national record of 55.72 seconds in the event, set last April at the Drake Relays in Iowa, USA.

It was a tightly contested battle in this event, with 32 athletes already meeting the qualifying standard, allowing only eight to break through based on world rankings to complete the field.

Robyn Brown, the 2023 Asian Championships champion in the event, missed out on Paris after slipping to 53rd in the rankings.

The two hurdlers, Cabang and Hoffman, will join pole vaulter EJ Obiena as the first athletes to represent the Philippines in athletics in Paris.

Also competing in Paris are flag-bearers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio in boxing, Eumir Marcial, Aira Villegas, and Hergie Bacyadan; artistic gymnasts Carlos Yulo, Alleah Finnegan, Levi Ruivivar, and Emma Malabuyo; golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina; and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.

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Four more debutants round out the 22 athletes so far headed to the Paris Games: swimmers Kayla Sanchez and Jarod Hatch, fencer Samantha Catantan, and rower Joanie Delgaco.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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