And so it begins | Inquirer Sports


GOLDEN HOPES: Philippine bets seen with great gold medal chances (clockwise from center) Hidilyn Diaz, Yuka Saso, Carlos Yulo, Nesthy Petecio and EJ Obiena get going in Tokyo. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

TOKYO—Right here is where the gold drought ends.

This is the kind of optimism harbored by sports leaders here, emboldened by the credentials sported by a Team Philippines that seeks to produce an Olympic champion—or two—as the Summer Games officially get going on Friday amid a restrictive environment forced by a still-raging pandemic.

But one of the country’s bright gold hopes cautions everyone from thinking that past success is enough to guarantee a gold medal here.

“This is a new game, new tournament, new challenge,” said Nesthy Petecio, a reigning world champion in women’s boxing who had been tagged as a gold source. “We still need to work hard.”

“We can’t bring…

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