Diaz leads recipients of citations in PSA rites

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    OLYMPIC silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz leads a short but solid list of sportsmen and entities who will receive citations in the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night on March 17 at the TV5 Media Center.

    The 30-year-old pride of Zamboanga City completed a three-gold medal sweep in the women’s 55 kg division of the Roma Weightlifting World Cup in Italy last year just before the pandemic to virtually assure her of a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.

    Diaz, who ended the country’s 20-year medal drought in the Olympics after bagging a silver in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, and 19 others will be cited by the country’s oldest media organization headed by Tito S. Talao, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin, during the virtual event co-presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Cignal TV, with 1 Pacman Partylist and Rain or Shine as major backers.

    Also to be cited aside from Diaz are fellow weightlifter Vanessa Sarno, Olympic-bound Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno of boxing, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena, the skateboarding pair of Margielyn Didal and Motic Panugalinog, the track and field quartet of Kristina Knott, Natalie Uy, William Morrison, and Christine Hallasgo, and OJ Delos Santos of karate.

    The rest of the citations include Sander Severino of chess, sambo’s Sydney Tancontian, cyclist George Oconer and the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance cycling team, and the four major leagues that successfully held their respective seasons in a bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic, namely, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Football League (PFL), Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, and the National Basketball League (NBL).

    Lady golfer Yuka Saso is on top of the honor roll as the recipient of the prestigious Athlete of the Year Award, an honor solely being handed out by the PSA.

    A Lifetime Achievement Award will also be given to three pillars of Philippine sports in former Gintong Alay Project Director Jose A. Romasanta, the PBA’s seventh commissioner and current Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Renauld “Sonny” Barrios, and former Ambassador and Philippine basketball godfather, the late Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.