Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

2020 Tokyo Olympics

Marcial, Watanabe to wear Rajo Laurel-designed barongs during Tokyo opening

TOKYO — Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics kept the lid fully sealed on Friday’s opening ceremony. But one thing’s for sure — a lean Philippine crew will march around an empty National Stadium proudly clad in traditional barong tagalog created by world-renowned designer Rajo Laurel.

It would only be at 4 p.m. on Friday, or four hours before the 8 p.m. program, could the world know how the hosts would open the most unique edition of the quadrennial competitions at the stadium that has a 68,000 seating capacity.

“We really don’t know what the opening ceremony would be like. It’s a tightly-kept secret,” shared Team Pilipinas Chef de Mission Nonong Araneta.

Boxer Eumir Felix Marcial is the country’s designated male flag-bearer, while his female counterpart will be judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.

Marcial will be wearing a cocoon silk barong with a machine-embroidered pitchera design muslin inner shirt and light wool black pants.

Watanabe, on the other hand, will be clad in a cocoon silk short blazer with a machine embroidered front and sleeves and neoprene spaghetti-strapped black inner blouse and neoprene black pants.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) under chairman Butch Ramirez procured the parade uniforms for Team Pilipinas.

Marcial and Watanabe were selected for the opening ceremony because their events come later in the Games. Marcial goes up the ring in men’s middleweight of boxing on July 26; meanwhile, Watanabe takes the mat in women’s half-middleweight of judo on July 27.

They will be joined in the parade of countries by Araneta and coaches Carlos Padilla (taekwondo), Nolito Velasco (boxing), and Daniel Bautista (skateboarding); as well as Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco and Gymnastics Association of the Philippines head Cynthia Carrion-Norton.

#ReadMore  Saved by the Bell Boxing promises action-packed "Laban Pinoy" card

The opening ceremony will last for three hours and will feature 4,500 participants — athletes and officials (maximum of six from each country) — from 205 member national Olympic committees. Only North Korea withdrew from the Games.

Araneta, meanwhile, said concerns from transport woes to inadequate Covid-19 test kits were raised by the member NOCs during the chef de mission meeting on Wednesday morning.

“The hosts promised to address problems in transportation after several countries complained that they had to wait at least an hour for their designated shuttle buses to arrive and bring them to their training venues,” Araneta said.

“There was also a problem with the lack of testing kits, especially on Tuesday when a long line was formed because they ran out of kits.”

Another major concern, Araneta said, was the efficiency of the shuttle system after the opening ceremony, “Imagine bringing 4,500 individuals back to the Olympic Village the soonest possible time?” he said.

“But the hosts vowed to pull it off in one hour.”

There are 11,000 athletes and 7,000 officials in these Games that were postponed for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covering media is pegged at 15,000.

Written By

You May Also Like

2024 Summer Olympics

As the official broadcast partner of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in the Philippines, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has announced that it will offer...

2024 Summer Olympics

Kayla Sanchez will be heading to her second consecutive Olympic Games. This time, the Fil-Canadian swimmer will represent the Philippines, as Philippine Aquatics, Inc....


A homecoming fight awaits Olympian boxer Eumir Marcial in Manila. Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions has officially confirmed that the 28-year-old Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist...


Retired eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao personally congratulated Paris Olympic-bound fighter Eumir Felix Marcial for winning a silver medal in the 19th Asian...


Zamboanga Valientes are bringing the stars out for the return of the VisMin Super Cup. JR Quinahan, Summer Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, and...

19th Asian Games

Team Pilipinas finished in 17th place in the 2022 Asian Games. Although they brought home fewer medals compared to the 2018 continental meet (4...

19th Asian Games

A strong start wasn’t enough for Eumir Marcial to secure the gold in the 19th Asian Games. The 27-year-old Marcial lost 5-0 to Tanglatihan...

19th Asian Games

Eumir Marcial achieved two significant feats during the 19th Asian Games on Wednesday. The Filipino southpaw secured a spot in the gold medal round...