Olympics-bound Jayson Valdez hopes to turn his dream into reality

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Tokyo-bound shooter Jayson Valdez during the PSA Forum

Tokyo-bound shooter Jayson Valdez during the PSA Forum online session on Tuesday.

MANILA, Philippines — Jayson Valdez dreamed of making the Olympics—literally and figuratively.

It finally came to fruition Saturday when the Filipino shooter gained a berth in the Tokyo Olympics through the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) quota system.

“Meron akong panaginip. It’s an Olympic Games, hindi ko lang alam kung anong Olympic Games yun. Pero malinaw yung mukha ko dun sa panaginip and malinaw na gold medal yung hawak ko,” he shared Tuesday during the PSA Forum.

(I had a dream. It’s an Olympic Games but I don’t know which Olympic Games it was. But it was clear that I was there in the dream and that I was holding a gold medal.)

“Siguro isa yun sa pangitain. We’ll see. Hindi natin alam kung ano yung mga next na mangyayari,” added Valdez, who will begin his Tokyo buildup on Thursday.

(I guess that was one of the signs. We’ll see. We don’t know what’s gonna happen next.)

Valdez, son of three-time Southeast Asian gold medalist Julius Valdez, will compete in the air rifle 10-meter event where 29 others will vie for a podium finish. The top eight shooters will advance in the medal round.

The 25-year-old Valdez, the first Filipino shooter to participate in the Games since Paul Bryan Rosario in London 2012, is confident of making the top eight as long as he beats his personal best of 630.

“Ma-beat ko lang yung personal best ko, I’m sure papasok ako sa top eight (If I beat my personal best, I’m sure that I’m gonna get in the top eight). We’ll see,” said Valdez, who noted that some of his possible opponents in the Olympics own personal best of either 631 or 632.

Valdez is one of 13 Filipinos to qualify for next month’s Games.

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