Asian Games golf champions join Philippines’ Tokyo team

© The Philippine Golf Tour
© The Philippine Golf Tour

Manila, Philippines, June 29, 2021: Two more of the Philippines’ 2018 Asian Games “Golden Girls” are heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next month, reports Tiebreaker Times.

They are golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan, who were both members of the team that won the women’s team gold medal at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. Saso also won the gold medal in the women’s individual event.

The two Asian Games golden golfers were officially confirmed of a place in Tokyo by the International Golf Federation when the Olympic ranking period ended on June 28. They both play on the LPGA Tour in the United States.

They will join two more of the Philippines’ Asian Games champions from Jakarta-Palembang in weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarding street gold medallist Margielyn Didal.

Saso, 20, in particular has gone from strength to strength since winning her two gold medals in Indonesia. In her rookie pro season in Japan in 2020 she won two tournaments in 15 starts and prize money of 93 million yen (USD 860,000) and this year became the first player from the Philippines to win a major tournament in either men’s or women’s pro golf when she captured the US Women’s Open in San Francisco – and prize money of USD1 million.

Saso and Pagdanganan became the 16th and 17th members of Team Pilipinas for the Summer Games.

Along with fellow Asian Games champions Diaz and Didal, the other members of the team are: Kiyomi Watanabe (judo), Juvic Pagunsan (men’s golf), Elreen Ando (weightlifting), the boxing quartet of Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio, Caloy Yulo (gymnastics), pole vaulter EJ Obiena, Kurt Barbosa (taekwondo), rower Cris Nievarez, sprinter Kristina Knott and shooter Jayson Valdez.