By Jj Roque |
In the past decades, Filipinos proved their ability in sports as they harvest medals in different events. In the international level, Filipinos stamp their marks as they prove that they can keep pace and to be the best among the best.
These people showed that the Philippines can stand out in some of the disciplines and sport events worldwide. They brought pride and glory to our motherland.
The rise of Filipino athletes started with David Nepomuceno when he competed in the Olympics. He was the first among the Filipino athletes. Nepomuceno was a runner and the sole representative of the country at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Team PH was not successful during Nepomuceno’s run, but the Philippines notched its first win in the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Olympics. Teofilo Yldefonso won the bronze medal in the 200-Meter Breaststroke Swimming Competition. He was also the first to win in Southeast Asia.
Before the likes of Alvin Patrimonio, Robert Jaworski, or James Yap rose to fame, Carlos Loyzaga was the big name in Philippine basketball. He led the national team to win a bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championship. This accomplishment remains as the only award by any Asian team in the history of tournament.
Photo courtesy of Tapat
Eight-division World Champion and Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao is well-known in the world of boxing. Pac-Man was entitled as the Fighter of the Decade by the BWAA, WBC, and WBO. He is also ranked number four in the Pound-for-Pound list.
The country has also been known for its boxers like the Asia’s first World Champion Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilleo who was dubbed as the Greatest Flyweight of the Century and Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who was named as the Greatest Filipino Boxer of all time.
One of the more popular triumphs in the history of Philippine boxing is Mansueto Velasco winning the Silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the Men’s Light Flyweight division.
Photo courtesy of Misossology
Other world-renowned Filipino athletes include the likes of Efren “Bata” Reyes who is also known as “The Magician” for his superb skill at the pool table. Reyes is a two-time World Champion and considered as one of the all-time greats in billiards.
World Bowling Champion Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno may also be remembered as the one of the greatest bowlers of his time. Nepomuceno holds the Guiness World Record of being the youngest bowling world cup champion at the age of 19.
And who cannot remember the ladies like Elma Muros after making SEA Games history as the only track athlete who won in different events. She was hailed as the SEA Games heptathlon queen in 1997. Lydia de Vega, known as the “Fastest Woman” in the 1980’s won the gold medal twice in a row in the Asian Games. Mikee Coquangco-Jaworski also won the gold medal in the Individual Show Jumping Competition in the 2002 Asian Games.