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Manny Pacquiao too old for 2024 Paris Olympics—IOC

By AYIE LICSI Published Feb 18, 2024 5:39 pm Updated Feb 19, 2024 3:33 pm

Manny Pacquiao won't be eligible to compete in the Paris Olympics as he is beyond the age limit.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) denied the Philippines' request to include the boxing icon in its roster for the upcoming games. Pacquaio recently turned 45 in December while the age limit for Olympic athletes is 40 years old.

"Too bad our beloved boxing icon is disqualified because of his age and that everybody needs to go through qualifiers, in all sports, to be able to participate in Paris," Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Bambol Tolentino said.

"While I am very saddened and disappointed, I understand and accept the age-limit rules," Pacquiao said in a statement.

In addition, the former senator would have needed to go through qualifiers to compete in the upcoming Olympics. The POC hoped that he would be able to punch his ticket through the Universality rule, slots developed by the IOC for countries that have little or no representation at the Games.

However, IOC director for National Olympic Committee Relations James McLeod noted that the said slots are for countries that had less than eight representatives in the past two Olympics. The Philippines had 19 athletes at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

For the upcoming Olympics, four Filipinos have already earned their place, namely EJ Obiena, Carlos Yulo, Eumir Marcial, and Aleah Finnegan.

In August 2023, Pacquiao's camp reached out to the POC about the boxing legend competing in the Olympics as he had never had the chance to represent the country in the Summer Games. The retired boxer had the chance to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics but later declined to focus on his duties in the Senate.

Since retiring from boxing in 2021, Pacquiao made a failed bid for the presidency and has competed in an exhibition match with Korean YouTuber DK Yoo. Earlier in January, Pacman said that he was ready for a rematch against longtime rival Floyd Mayweather Jr.