The Philippines was represented by 19 athletes at Tokyo 2020, and it is hoped a larger team can represent the country at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham Tolentino has targeted sending a larger team to represent the country at next year's Olympic Games in Paris compared to Tokyo 2020.

The Philippines sent 19 athletes to Tokyo 2020, winning its first-ever gold medal at the Games through Hidilyn Diaz in the women's under-55 kilograms weightlifting event.

It was the country's biggest team at an Olympics since Sydney 2000, up from 13 at Rio 2016.

Tolentino, President of the POC since 2019, believes that a further increase is possible for Paris 2024.

"We’ll try to surpass that 19 athletes from 11 sports from the Tokyo Olympics in Paris," he said, as reported by The Philippine Star.

Tolentino, also the President of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines and the Mayor of Tagaytay, insisted that this would require a collective effort from the POC and the Government through the Philippine Sports Commission.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Diaz is expected to be among the country's medal hopefuls again, along with boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, although the sport's presence at the Games has been placed into doubt due to doubts over the governance of the International Boxing Association. 

Petecio and Paalam won silver medals at Tokyo 2020, while Marcial earned bronze to contribute to the Philippines' best-ever performance at the Olympics.

Gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and weightlifter Elreen Ando are among its further hopefuls for Paris 2024, which is scheduled to take place between July 26 and August 11. 

The Philippines has an estimated population of nearly 110 million, the 13th highest in the world, and Paris was the city in which it made its Olympic debut in 1924.

It has competed at every Summer edition since apart from Moscow 1980, when it took part in a United States-led boycott, and featured at six Winter Olympics, including the three most recent editions.