The two sports federations responsible for flying high the country’s flag in the Tokyo Olympics won’t be missed out in the March 14 San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association (SMC-PSA) Annual Awards Night.
Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) and the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) are both going to be honored with the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year Award as they played crucial roles in assuring the Philippines’ most glorious Olympic campaign ever.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz delivered the historic first ever Olympic gold medal for the country, while boxers Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, and Eumir Marcial accounted for three other medals to cap the Filipino delegation’s most productive stint in its history of Olympic participation.
SWP president Monico Puentevella and ABAP prexy Ricky Vargas are expected to receive the award in behalf of their respective associations during the special event presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and Cignal TV.
Vargas had since been succeeded by former executive director Ed Picson as head of the country’s governing body for boxing.
This marks the first time the weightlifting association will be honored with the recognition by the country’s oldest media organization, while ABAP is going to be feted with the same award for the third straight year.
As expected, the 31-year-old Diaz was the hands down choice as the 2021 Athlete of the Year by the country’s oldest media organization during the gala night at the Diamond Hotel and backed by MILO (official choco malt milk), 1Pacman, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philracom, Rain or Shine, ICTSI, Chooks To Go, MVP Sports Foundation, and Smart.
Paalam and Petecio, meanwhile, provided a pair of silver, and Marcial a bronze to join Diaz in the Olympic podium.
For their feat, the three boxers will be honored each with a Major Award during the traditional awards night.
The three medals won by ABAP is also the most by the federation in its long history of competing in the quadrennial showpiece.