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7 Cordilleran Athletes Shine at San Miguel Corporation-PSA Awards

Seven Cordilleran athletes honored at the prestigious San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards 2024.

 |  3 min read

Seven Cordilleran athletes were honored for their exceptional achievements at the prestigious San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards 2024, showcasing their remarkable talent and dedication.

The San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards, held annually to recognize outstanding achievements in Philippine sports, witnessed a remarkable showcase of talent on Jan. 29 at Diamond Hotel Manila. Among the honorees were seven Cordilleran athletes who exemplified excellence in their respective sports, alongside other distinguished Southeast Asian Games gold medalists from 2023.

Jason Balabal

Cordilleran Athletes: A Testament to Excellence

The spotlight shone brightly on Cordilleran athletes at the awards ceremony, where they were rightfully acknowledged for their stellar performances. Jason Balabal, Kurt Barbosa, Crisamuel Delfin, Jean Claude Saclag, and Claudine Veloso showcased their prowess in wrestling, taekwondo, arnis, and kickboxing, respectively. Their dedication and hard work have not only brought pride to their region but also elevated the stature of Philippine sports on the international stage.

Kurt Barbosa

Asia's First Spartan Champion

Celebrating Cordilleran excellence, Sandi Menchi Abahan, Asia's inaugural Spartan Champion, was recognized alongside teammates Mecca Cortizano, Tess Nocyao, and Mhik Tejares in the Philippine obstacle course racing team. This acknowledgment showcased the talent and dedication of Cordilleran athletes on the global stage.

Building on this achievement, the OCR women's group, led by Sanchi Abahan, Asia's first Spartan Champion, secured a gold medal in the women's team relay at the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Their victory embodied hard work, discipline, and teamwork, inspiring athletes nationwide. This dual success highlighted Cordilleran athletes' prowess and resilience, marking a significant milestone in Philippine sports.

Claudine Veloso

Historic Achievement: The Filipinas at the FIFA Women's World Cup

A special highlight of the awards ceremony was the recognition bestowed upon the Filipinas, the Philippines women's national football team, affectionately known as the "Golden Lady Booters." Their historic debut at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup captured the hearts and imaginations of fans worldwide. Among the esteemed members of the team is Jaclyn Sawicki, a midfielder with roots tracing back to Buguias, Benguet. Her story epitomizes the diversity and inclusivity of Philippine sports, showcasing how athletes from diverse backgrounds can come together to achieve greatness on the global stage.

A Night of Celebration and Recognition

The awards night was a testament to the remarkable achievements and contributions of individuals, sports groups, and sports officials to the growth and development of Philippine sports in 2023. With a total of 140 honorees, the event underscored the depth of talent and passion within the Philippine sports community. From emerging talents to seasoned veterans, each awardee played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Philippine athletics.

EJ Obiena: Athlete of the Year

Leading the roster of awardees was EJ Obiena, hailed as the Athlete of the Year. Obiena's extraordinary accomplishments, including setting an Asian record by clearing six meters in pole vault and winning a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, solidified his status as one of the world's top athletes. His dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to excellence serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the country.

Summary of Honored Cordilleran Athletes

Name Sport Achievement
Jason Balabal Wrestling Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Kurt Barbosa Taekwondo Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Crisamuel Delfin Arnis Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Jean Claude Saclag Kickboxing Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Claudine Veloso Kickboxing Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Sandi Menchi Abahan Obstacle Course Racing Recognition as Asia's first Spartan Champion and member of the Philippine obstacle course racing team
Jaclyn Sawicki Football Member of the Philippines women's national football team; 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup participant

Conclusion

The San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards provided a platform to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Cordilleran athletes and their counterparts from across the country. From triumphs at the Southeast Asian Games to historic debuts at the FIFA Women's World Cup, these athletes have not only brought glory to the Philippines but also inspired a generation of future champions. As we reflect on their accomplishments, let us continue to support and celebrate the spirit of excellence in Philippine sports.


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