Nayre gets first crack

October 07, 2018

BUENOS AIRES-- Jann Mari Nayre  will open the Philippine campaign in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games late Sunday at the Table Tennis Arena of the Technopolis here.

The 18-year-old takes on Nicolas Ignacio Burgos of Chile in Group B of the  men’s singles preliminary stage before facing Maciej Kolodziejczyk of Austria six hours later.

Nayre, the first Filipino table tennis player to secure a spot in these Games featuring the best 18-under athletes in the world, will  wrap up the elimination round against Khanak Jha of the United States the following day, hoping he could advance to the round of 16 on Tuesday.

“I’m here to give my best, regardless of whom I’m facing,’’ said Nayre.

He made the trip to this Argentinian capital after winning the Rarotonga qualifiers in the Cook Islands in June after failing to medal in the recent Asian Games in Indonesia and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Argentina president Mauricio Macri declared the beginning of the YOG during the opening ceremony at the Obelisco de Buenos Aires where over 4,000 athletes from 206 countries are set to compete in 32 sports for the next 13 days.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach graced the welcoming rites that featured an impressive display of lights and fireworks.

Golfer Yuka Saso, the country’s Asian Games double-gold medalist, carried the flag during the parade of nations as the third edition of the YOG unfolded in full view of the Argentinian public, the first time in Olympic history that the opening ceremony was held on the streets.

Filipino-Norwegian Christian Tio is set to kick off  his medal bid in kiteboarding, a new discipline under sailing in the youth Olympics on Oct. 8 (Tuesday in Manila), while fencer Lawrence Everett Tan will begin his campaign in the men’s foil event the following day.