ATHENS (VIA  GLOBE  TELECOM),  August 30, 2004  (STAR) By Lito A. Tacujan - He rushed through a cluster of Philippine officials and media men and went straight to Toni Rivero’s dressing room clutching a bag of ice in mid-morning.

Later in the day he spent close to three hours with Donny Geisler at the Athletes’ Village polyclinic doing X-ray, CT-Scan and Sonogram on a dislocated ankle and two tendons.

It was a busy day for RP delegation medical director Dr. Jose Raul Canlas as he worked on the two injured Filipino jins who came up with courageous stand to salvage an Olympic medal for the country.

But it wasn’t to be and the Philippines went out with no medal to show for the second straight Olympics.

The 16-year-old Rivero sustained a bruised left thigh in winning her opening match with former world silver medalist of Vanina Beron Sanchez of Argentina, hurt her left hand against the Netherlands’ Charmie Sobers in the quarterfinals and her right hand in a make-or-break duel with Greece’s Elizavet Mystakidou.

"Sobrang tapang ni Toni. She was hurt in the first fight but I didn’t hear her complain. I knew she was having a hard time but she just kept on fighting," said Canlas, head of the Philippine Center of Sports Medicine.

Geisler waged a whale of a fight against Tunisia’s Hicham Hamdouni in their repechage contest but he banged his left ankle on the knee of his charging rival and fell down in pain in 1:38 of the second round. He was brought out of the fighting hall on a stretcher in great pain.

The collision was severe that the Tunisian jin, who won with referee-stop-contest decision over Geisler, also fought injured against eventual bronze medallist Yossef Karami of Iran and lost, 13-5.

The 25-year-old Geisler was rushed to the village polyclinic where he was treated by Canlas and an Italian doctor.

"We immediately fixed the dislocated ankle and later treated thetendons," said Canlas.

Geisler is now walking in crutches and his injured foot fitted with a special boot.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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