By Arygll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang commended Filipino athletes Carlos Yulo and Nesthy Petecio for giving the Philippines gold medals in their respective sports events over the weekend, saying the Palace was proud of their achievements.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement following Yulo’s historic gold medal win at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Germany, and of boxer Nesthy Petecio in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championships over the weekend.
In his press briefing, Panelo said their victories only proved that Filipinos are good in the field of sports.
“We’re always proud every time a Filipino wins, even a bronze or silver medal. Isa lang ang ibig sabihin noon: talagang magaling tayo, kahit na (But that only means one thing: Filipinos really are good even if it only happens) every now and then,” he said.
The 19-year-old Yulo qualified for Olympics 2020 in Japan prior to this win when he advanced to the finals of the men’s all-around event of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
Meanwhile, in a statement after his Monday press briefing, Panelo congratulated Petecio on her victory, saying that she will shine even more at the Southeast Asian Games next month.
“Our people are one in rejoicing Nesthy’s triumph after winning against her Russian opponent in the latter’s turf country. Indeed, it was a proud moment for Nesthy and the Philippines,” he said.
“We expect Nesthy to shine even more in the coming Southeast Asian Games to be held in Manila next month as she carries the flag with full pride and honor in front of her countrymen,” he added.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles also hailed the two athletes and called their twin victories a historic and glorious moment for Philippine sports.
“This is really good news for our country. The victories of Ms. Petecio and Mr. Yulo underline the fact that we as a nation can achieve excellence and greatness,” Nograles said.
Nograles then urged sports authorities to use the two triumphs as motivation in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and the Olympics next year.
“The burden lies not only in our sports authorities but in all of government to ensure that we build on such wins. Kayang-kaya natin makipagsabayan (We can compete alongside international athletes),” he said.
Nograles said that the whole sports community should row in one direction in terms of implementing nationwide a grassroots program for sports as this would help identify talented young prospects and train them in world-class facilities.
“Marami tayong kailangang pag-usapan pagdating sa sports. Asahan po ninyo na mataas sa agenda ng Pangulo ang bagay na ito (There is a lot to talk about when it comes to sports. You can expect that this is high on the President’s agenda,” he said.
According to Nograles, Petecio’s victory could be attributed in part to a grassroots program in Davao City. The boxer belonged to the Oplan Kamao boxing program that was spearheaded by the former three-term lawmaker of the city’s first district.
“It was a boxing program we developed where we go down to the Barangay level in Davao City to bring out from the grassroots young boys and girls who have a potential for boxing… Nesthy was a regular participant in our Oplan Kamao program,” he said.