FOUR bemedalled swimmers lead 10 young outstanding athletes who will be recognized with the Tony Siddayao Awards during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards Night presented by San Miguel and Milo on Feb. 13 at the Le Pavilion in Pasay City.
Palarong Pambansa standout Maurice Sacho Ilustre banners the latest batch of athletes who will be bestowed with the award named after the late Manila Standard sports editor Tony Siddayao, considered the “Dean of Philippine sportswriting.”
The award is given to exceptional athletes aged 17 and below.
Aside from Ilustre, the other swimmers to be honored during gala night co-presented by Cignal/Hyper HD are Jerard Dominic Jacinto, Marc Bryan Dula, and Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh.
Gymnast Ancilla Mari Manzano, karter Khaz Romoff, skater Arielle Pascual, and triathletes Tara Borlan and Samantha Borlain complete the “Siddayao list” of awardees in the annual rites backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Smart, Rain or Shine, Mighty Sports, GlobalPort, ICTSI, Foton, Gold Toe, and Phoenix Petroleum as major sponsors.
Among the noted winners of the award in the past include Wesley So (chess), Kiefer Ravena (basketball), Norbert Torres (basketball), Dottie Ardina (golf), Ken Alieson Omengan (wushu), and Malvinne Ann Alcala (badminton).
Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is the choice as 2016 Athlete of the Year. She leads 92 awardees who will be honored in the yearly rites also backed by the Philippine Basketball Association, SM Prime Holdings Inc., Accel, MVP Sports Foundation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, NLEX, Meralco, and Federal Land.
Ilustre pulled off another perfect seven-of-seven feat in the pool for the National
Capital region during the Palarong Pambansa in Albay.
Jacinto, 15, from the University of the East, broke three national junior records during the UAAP Season 79 juniors swimming championship.
Dula, a typhoon Yolanda survivor from Tacloban, brought home 24 gold medals from five international meets while Mojdeh bagged 29 gold medals also from five various tournaments abroad.
Manzano emerged as the individual all-around champion in her Palaro debut, winning three gold medals. Romoff romped away with three major awards in motorsports, including the 2016 Asian Karting Open Championship, while Masangkay established a new world record in the 43 kg. sub-junior category in winning the gold medal (deadlift) in the 2016 World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Texas, USA.
Pascual, 6, was the youngest gold medalist in Asia and the country in 2016, while the Borlains ruled their respective age brackets during the Alaska IronKids at the Remy Field in Subic.