MANILA, Philippines – Boxers Leopoldo Serantes, Roel Velasco and Mansueto Velasco will be among the new batch of athletes who will be enshrined into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame next year.
This is because the PSOF Review Committee, in an online meeting a few days ago, adopted a new resolution approving the automatic nomination of Olympic medalists when it comes up with a new list of inductees.
PSOF and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez said this is to ensure that they are honored and will never be forgotten.
There are a total of 10 Olympic medal winners but only five — swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, high jumper Simeon Toribio, hurdler Miguel White, and pugs Jose Villanueva and Anthony Villanueva were already enshrined to the PSHOF.
It also included 2016 Rio weightlifting silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz but she did not make the 1924-1994 cut.
Yldefonso copped two Olympic medals, one in 1928 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the other in 1932 in Los Angeles, United States.
And the new rule should catapult Serantes and the Velasco brothers into that elite group.
“Achieving a medal from the most prestigious Games in history is something worth recognizing for a lifetime. They deserve it even without the process of someone voluntarily proving it for them,” said Ramirez.
Serantes snared a bronze in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, Roel a bronze in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, Mansueto a silver in 1996 in Atlanta, US and Diaz a silver in 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
Since its establishment via Republic Act No. 8757, the PSHOF had already inducted a total of 37 Hall of Famers in three batches — 10 in 2010, 17 in 2016 and 10 in 2018.
Yldefonso, Toribio, White and the Villanuevas were part of the first batch that also included boxers Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Pancho Villa, Ceferino Garcia, cager Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga and the 1954 Philippine men’s basketball team that he led.
Leading the inductees in the second and third batches were chess’ Eugene Torre, athletics’ Mona Sulaiman, tennis’ Johnny Jose, bowler Paeng Nepomuceno, athletics’ Lydia de Vega-Mercado and baseball/softball’s Filomeno “Boy” Codinera.
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