Yulo, SEA Games standouts head list of awardees.
FOR making the country proud in the year just passed, top sports achievers will be honored anew as the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night is staged on the first week of March at the Manila Hotel.
Highlight of the annual affair also presented by MILO, CIGNAL TV, and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is the awarding of the coveted Athlete of the Year honor solely handed out by the country’s oldest media organization now headed by president Tito S. Talao, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin.
The year 2019 saw Filipino athletes made their presence felt everywhere, from Southeast Asia all the way to the world stage.
Team Philippines won the overall championship of the Southeast Asian Games only for the second time in 42 years of competing in the biennial meet, while Carlos Yulo became the first Filipino and gymnast from Southeast Asia to win a historic gold medal in the 49th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
Lady boxer Nesthy Petecio also won a first ever gold when she ruled the featherweight division of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude Russia, even as Ernest John Obiena distinguished himself as the first Filipino to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when he surpassed the Olympic qualifying standard in men’s pole vault by ruling a tournament in Chiara, Italy.
These sports heroes and heroines are expected to lead the various personalities and entities to be honored on this special night by the country’s sportswriting fraternity.
Aside from the Athlete of the Year award, also to be given out are the President’s Award, the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year award, Executive of the Year, Ms. Basketball, Mr. Volleyball, Ms. Golf, Mr. Football, and a first ever Coach of the Year.
As in past awards night, there will likewise be Major Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award, Tony Siddayao Awards, MILO Junior Athletes Award, and citations to be led by the SEA Games gold medal winners.
In its last meeting, the PSA board has unanimously agreed to give citations to all Filipino SEA Games gold medalists, led by Yulo and Obiena.
In 10 glorious days in December, Filipino athletes struck in the flatlands, in the mountains, in the seas to eventually win the overall crown with a staggering haul of 149 gold medals.
No-nonsense training here and abroad did it for the local squad, which got a war chest of more than one billion pesos from the government.
Sports personalities who passed away last year will also be accorded with a posthumous recognition.