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Hidilyn Diaz writes PH sports history as first Olympic champion

Diaz, who many favored to secure a podium finish in this year’s Olympics, outlasted eight other competitors in the 55kg category, including the world record holder from China, Liao Qiuyun.

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A momentous victory for Hidylyn Diaz as she competes for the 55-kg weightlifting category at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo grabbed from Reuters

Almost a century since the country marked its footprints in the Olympic games, the Philippines has finally secured a gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

PH weightlifting bet Hidilyn Diaz topped the podium in the women’s 55-kilogram category of weightlifting.

Diaz, who many favored to secure a podium finish in this year’s Olympics, outlasted eight other competitors in the 55kg category, including the world record holder from China, Liao Qiuyun.

The weightlifter from Zamboanga City started the competition off strong as she lifted 94kg and 97kg in her first two attempts in snatch. She had the chance to take the lead after trying to lift 99kg in her final snatch attempt but failed to do so.

Uzbekistan bet Muattar Nebieva led all competitors in the snatch attempt as she cleared 98kg.

Diaz grabbed the lead in the clean and jerk attempt when she lifted 119kg on her first try. She then set an Olympic record in her final attempt with a weight of 127kg.

Hidilyn will be walking away with around 33 million pesos in incentives for winning gold, 20 million of which would be coming from the MVP Sports Foundation and San Miguel Corporation respectively, while 10 million would be given by the Philippine government in accordance with the Republic Act. 10699. Congressman Mikee Romero will also be giving three million pesos in incentives.

Back in 2019, Diaz took to social media to ask for financial support in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in hopes of bringing home the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines, to which she received mixed reactions from both her fans and the government.

This is the second Olympic medal in four Olympic stints for Hidilyn as she ended the 20-year medal drought for the Philippines in the 2016 Rio Olympics, taking home a silver medal in the 53kg weightlifting category. 

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PATAFA drops Obiena from national pool amid fund misappropriation

The federation is also set to file criminal charges of estafa against Obiena after their investigative committee revealed that the Thomasian misappropriated the amount of 61,026.80 euros (P 3,661,608).

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Photo courtesy of Philippine News Agency

Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena is set to be dropped from the national training pool of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), the federation announced on Jan. 4, Tuesday. 

This is after the body’s investigative committee released its results on the Olympian’s alleged falsification of liquidation documents and late payments to his coach, Vitaly Petrov.

The federation is also set to file criminal charges of estafa against Obiena after their investigative committee revealed that the Thomasian misappropriated the amount of 61,026.80 euros (P 3,661,608) which were released to him by the PATAFA and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as payment to the coaching services of Petrov.

On Nov. 21, 2021, Obiena debunked the  allegations of misuse of government funds to pay his coach.

“I have prided myself in embracing the values of discipline, competitiveness, honor, transparency and respect. This doesn’t change even in times of crisis,” Obiena said.

His mother, former PATAFA auditor Jeanette Obiena, also allegedly misappropriated the amount of P 624,116.76 which she claimed from the PSC as payment to Petrov but was not used as payment as of August 2021.

PATAFA will also file a complaint before the World Athletics against Petrov for violation of the Integrity Code of Conduct, and declare Obiena’s adviser, James Lafferty, as a persona non grata. 

The PATAFA also intends to immediately terminate all engagements of Petrov as Obiena’s coach.

The recommendations have been approved by the PATAFA’s board of trustees and the full report will be sent to the PSC and the Commission on Audit.

Before 2021 ended, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) no longer recognized Philip Juico as the president of the PATAFA after he was declared as persona non grata by POC president Bambo Tolentino.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Thomasian among top nine finalists in 2022 UAAP Logo Design Contest

Ralph Rainell Estrella, a fourth-year student from the College of Fine Arts and Design, was included in the top nine out of 200 entries received by the UAAP for their contest.

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Photo courtesy of The UAAP's official Facebook page

A Thomasian secured a spot among the top nine finalists, as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) revealed the winning entries for their Logo Design Contest on Friday, Dec. 17.

Ralph Rainell Estrella, a fourth-year student from the College of Fine Arts and Design, was included in the top nine out of 200 entries received by the UAAP for their contest.

The criteria stated that the winning logo must embody the vision, mission, and principles of UAAP which reflects the sports culture in the country and the history of the league itself.

Inspired by the traditional sport “sipa,” the winning design of Far Eastern University student Darryl John Digal will be formally used during the UAAP season 84 opening. 

The winning logo also replaces the eight-decade old logo used by one of the country’s collegiate leagues and will be used for various purposes such as official merchandise and other visual collateral. 

A total cash prize of PHP 100,000 along with its trophy and certificate will be given to the top winning design. The 2nd and 3rd place entries will also receive a cash prize and a certificate, while the 4th to 10th place will receive gift check certificates.

With the new logo, the league is now eyeing for the resumption of UAAP Season 84 with its basketball and volleyball season opening in early 2022.

Charles Joseph Nicolas
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UST receives accreditation to resume athletic training for UAAP Season 84

From the target resumption of competition being February 2022, the CHED now looks at March 2022 as the possible month of resumption for the UAAP.

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Rev. Fr. Rodel S. Cansancio receives the Certificate of Accreditation for the University’s in-house training bubble, along with CHED chairman Prospero De Vera and DOH secretary Fransisco Duque III.

The University has received its Certificate of Authority for the resumption of the athletic training on Monday, Dec. 13, in preparation for the upcoming UAAP Season and other sports events.

The University has complied with all requirements necessary requested by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH).

Last Saturday, the education and health departments’ officials visited UST to inspect the carpark building that will be used for the training bubble of the University’s basketball and volleyball teams.

The bubble training will be allowed at 50 percent capacity for areas under Alert Level 2 and full capacity for areas under Alert Level 1.

Only fully vaccinated student-athletes and coaches are allowed to participate in the training sessions, upon the agreed health guidelines.

From the target resumption of competition being February 2022, the CHED now looks at March 2022 as the possible month of resumption for the UAAP.

The collegiate league has been halted since April 2020 as both seasons 82 and 83 have been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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