Shooter Rosario and lifter Diaz get going today

Shooter Paul Brian Rosario and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz try to do what swimmer Jessie King Lacuna failed to accomplish when they plunge into action today in the 2012 London Olympics, hoping to give the Filipinos something to cheer about.

Seeing action for the first time, Rosario, 31, aims to improve on his personal-best of 120 points – and possibly nail one of the six final berths up for grabs–when he troops to the famous Royal Artillery Baracks against the world’s 35 finest shooters at 9 a.m. (4 p.m. Manila time). The gold medalist in Beijing, Vincent Hancock of the United States, won the event with a score of 121.

Using a reliable Italian-made Perazzi shotgun, Rosario finds himself in the group of Anders Golding of Denmark, Stefan Nilsson of Sweden, Ennio Falco of Italy , Frank Falco of Italy, Frank Thomson of the U.S. and Anthony Terras of France.

After a disappointing Olympic debut in Beijing, Diaz, 21, claims she has gained enough confidence to make a marked improvement as she competes in the Class A where elite lifters are bunched together.

Ranked ninth in the world, Diaz will try to hold her ground at 1 p.m. (8:00 p.m. Manila time) anew against Asia’s top guns – Hsing Choo Kuo of Taipei, Thailand’s Pimsiri Sirikaew and North Korea’s Chun Mi Jang – who came up with strong outings during the Asian championship last year in Pyeongtaek, South Korea where Diaz finished fourth overall.

Meanwhile, Lacuna’s exit reduced the country’s medal hopes to ten Saturday. The 18-year-old  was simply overwhelmed by the quality of the competition in London and bowed out of the men’s 200m freestyle competition.

Lacuna clocked 1:52.91 to finish fifth in his heat and 36th overall among 40 competitors. His time was below his own national mark of 1:50.90 which he set in 2010, and well off the Southeast Asian Games mark of 1:49.22 set by Malaysia’s Daniel William Henry Bego in 2009.


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