June 2, 2023

Thirty-three athletes and coaches received honors from Benguet on Jan. 16 after winning in national and international competitions.

Leading the awardees were 2021 Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Jean Claude Saclag and Gina Iniong Araos, who won gold medals in the 2022 Asian Kickboxing Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

HONORING ATHLETES, COACHES — Benguet province led by Gov. Melchor Diclas honored more than 30 athletes and coaches who clinched medals in recent international and national competitions with fighters from Team Lakay leading the awardees. The athletes and coaches received cash incentives from the provincial government. — Contributed photo

Also winning in the same event were bronze medalists Claudine Veloso, Carlos Alvares, and Kurt Lubrica. The athletes were led by Philippine National Kickboxing coach and regional head Mark Sangiao.

Mariane Mariano and Jason Baucas were also lauded for their silver finish in the women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman event in the Southeast Asian Wrestling Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Dec. 16 to 18, 2022.

Baucas further bagged three gold medals in the Quarterly Wrestling National Open held on separate dates.

A total of 15 athletes and coaches also won medals at the Muay Thai National Championships held in Subic on Nov. 28 to Dec. 3, 2022. Gold medalists were Sarah Garwageo, Michael Rimando, Erexter Taligan, Blane Mathew Comicho, Shiander Alley Casel, and Renson Cornell while silver medalists were Ronaldo Dominguez and Pennylope Padcayan.

Bronze medalists were Levi Dawaton, Audrel Kitzg Daniel, Ryan Joe Bestre, Art Getrex Potingan, and Pennylope Padcayan. 

The Muay Thai athletes were led by coaches Zaidi Laruan, Heidel Solis, and Junjun Benito.

Young athletes have also proven their mettle during the 2022 Batang Pinoy National Championships in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur on Dec. 17 to 21.

They were led by judo gold medalist Zhaijan Mryle Corpuz, taekwondo bronze medalists Trisha Lobbonan and Xian Craig Eusebio.

Also recognized were taekwondo coach Danrey Velo and judo coach Htai Andro Kienh Cudao.  

Para athletes who won medals in the National Classic Bench Press Championship in Pasig City last December led by double gold medalist Denesia Esnara, who also awarded the Women’s Best Lifter of the open category were also recognized.

The other gold medalists were Efreny Buslay and Gregorio Payat, Jr. with the latter also winning bronze medal. 

Ibaloy footballer Audie Menzi was also lauded for being a member of the Philippine Football National team Azkals who participated in the 2022 Asian Football Federation Mitsubishi Electric Cup. 

The province gave a total of P124,500 cash incentive to the athletes and coaches. – Ofelia C. Empian