Former Asia’s swimming queen Haydee Coloso-Espino passed away Thursday in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. She was 83.
The Ilongga marvel collected 10 medals in the Asian Games – starting in 1954. Of those medals, three were gold, five were silver, and two were bronze – the most by any Filipino athlete.
Coloso-Espino was only 16 years old when she rose to fame during the 1954 Manila Asian Games held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
To the mighty cheers, Coloso-Espino rallied furiously to beat her two Japanese rivals for the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. She also led the country’s remarkable 1-2-3 finish in the 100m butterfly.
In the 1958 Tokyo Games, she also delivered four medals, including a gold in the 4x100m medley relay. She also produced three silvers – in the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
She capped her illustrious career by winning three more medals in the Jakarta Asian Games
She was also honored by Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSC) for three consecutive years from1953 to 1955.
The pride of Far Eastern University also saw action in the 1060 Rome Olympics but failed to get past the 100m freestyle heats.
She retired after the 1962 Asian Games and opted to teach at FEU until 1993. (REY C. LACHICA)