By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Aug. 3 (PNA) – The senators adopted Wednesday four Senate resolutions recognizing and commending the Filipino athletes, including 12 Olympians, who will compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics slated from Aug. 5 to 21 this year.
Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara, former chairman of the Senate committee on youth and sports, introduced Senate Resolution (SR) No. 75 to extend well-wishes to the 12 Filipino athletes who will try to win the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The 12 Filipino athletes include swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Lacuna; table tennis paddler Ian Lariba; golfer Miguel Luis Tabuena; long jumper Maristella Torres-Sunan; hurdler Eric Cray; marathoner Mary Joy Tabal; weighlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia; boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, and taekwondo jin Kristie Alora.
Angara encouraged the Filipinos to give the same supports they gave to Filipino boxing super star and now Senator Manny Pacquiao whose fights have been watched by almost every Filipino.
”I expect the same support and fervor will be extended to our 12 athletes in Rio Olympics,” Angara said.
Since the country participated in the Olympic Games in 1924, the Philippines has not won a single Olympic gold medal.
The Philippines has not also won an Olympic medal since boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco won a silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Philippines has won a total of 9 Olympic medals so far.
To fired up the 12 athletes, President Rodrigo Duterte increased their allowance from USD 1,000 to USD 3,000 during the recent send-off ceremony in Malacanang. The President also raised the coaches and officials allowances from USD 3,000 to USD 5,000.
Angara also introduced RS No. 56 that was adopted by the Senate, commending Fil-American tennis player Treat Conrad Huey for being the first Filipino who qualified in the semifinal round of the prestigious Wimbledon.
Huey, together with his Belarusian partner Max Mirnyi, defeated Austrian Oliver Marach and Frence Fabrice Martin, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (3) to advance in the semifinals of The Championship, Wimbledon held at the All England Lawn Tennis Croquet Club in London last July 7.
The Senate also adopted RS No. 61, congratulating and commending Filipino surfer Philmar Alipayo for winning in the West Sumbawa Open Pro Finals 2016 Surfing tournament last July 20 in Indonesia.
”Alipayo’s victory has once again prove the brilliance of Filipinos in sports, serving as a prime example for all athletes to achieve the best in international competitions, promoting the sports of surfing in the country, and sparking interest among aspiring surfers beyond the shores of La Union, Siargo and Baler, Aurora,” Angara said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, on the other hand, introduced own RS No. 71, commending and congratulating Mighty Sports Philippines for sweeping the 38th Jones Cup held last July 23-31 in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Philippine Team, represented by some local players and former PBA imports and NBA players, won all their games against Canada, Egypt, Iran, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and United States to bring home the country’s fourth title in the annual tournament.