May 24, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

Five multi-ta-lented athletes from the Cordillera region were honored du-ring the 1st Women in Sports Awards on March 20 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Commission on Wo-men honored women from various sports disciplines, among them were from the Cordillera namely: Islay Erika Bomogao for Muay Thai, Sandi Abahan for obstacle course racing (OCR), Hergie Bacyadan for vovinam/boxing, Claudine Veloso for kickboxing/boxing, and Renz Dacquel for kickboxing. 

WOMEN SPORTS LUMINARIES — Five female Cordilleran athletes were honored during the 1st Women in Sports Awards at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on March 20. Among the awardees were Claudine Veloso for kickboxing/boxing and Hergie Bacyadan for vovinam/boxing, and Islay Erika Bomogao for Muay Thai. — Contributed photos

Bomogao was re-cognized for her feat as the first Filipina International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA) world champion, among her many other accolades in Muay Thai.

Abahan was hailed for her achievements in the OCR, where she emerged as the first Asian Spartan athlete to step in the podium bagging the bronze medal in the 21-kilometer elite world championship.

She was awarded together with her teammates from the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF), Precious Que-Aguilar, Precious Cabuya, and Kaizen dela Serna also for excellence in OCR sports or the ninja warriors.

Bacyadan of Kalinga was also recognized for her achievement in vovinam and recently in representing the Philippines in boxing during the recent Paris Olympics qualifiers.

Her fellow Samahan ng Kickboxing Pilipinas athlete, Veloso, was also awarded for excellence in kickboxing and in trying a hand in boxing, where she joined Bacyadan during the Olympics qualifiers.

The two Southeast Asian Games medalists who are both excelling in their respective sports, however, failed to hurdle the qualifying round of the First Olympic World Qualifier in Busto Arzizio, Italy early this month.

Abra’s own Dacquel was also honored during the event in the field of boxing and kickboxing, being a consistent medalist in the Southeast Asian Games and other international competitions, even in professional boxing scene.

All the awardees were chosen from the list of nearly 200 nominees across 78 sports based on their contribution to the promotion and deve-lopment of their sport apart from being the top woman achiever in their sport last year.

The Cordilleran awardees were among the 129 individual and seven sports team awardees, including coaches and sports executives who dedicated their time in helping shape the country’s sports landscape.