A champion karter and a charming jiu-jitsu world title holder lead the youth brigade to be feted in the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association (SMC-PSA) Annual Awards Night a week from now at the grand ballroom of the Diamond Hotel.
William John Riley Go and Aleia Aielle Aguilar are two of the nine recipients of the Tony Siddayao awards in the March 6 gala night organized by the oldest media organization in the country headed by its president Rey Lachica, sports editor of Tempo.
Joining Go and Aguilar in the list of awardees given to outstanding or promising athletes 18 years old and below are archer Miguel Carlos, siblings Karl and Elaiza Yulo, karate bets Heleina Dominique So and Robert Dayanan Jr., swimmer Micaela Jasmie Mojdeh, and the Philippine junior chess team.
Revived after two years following the COVID-19 pandemic, the award was named in honor of the late Antonio ‘Tony’ Siddayao, the former senior deskman and motoring editor of the defunct Daily Express and later on, sports editor of the Manila Standard, who is widely acknowledged as the Dean of Philippine sports writing.
Grandmaster Wesley So, cage stars Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng, golfer Doti Ardina, Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, and US Open junior girls champion Alex Eala were some of the prominent personalities honored with the award during the past editions of the traditional celebration presented by the Philippine Sports Commission and Cignal TV and with Philippine Olympic Committee, Mayor Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino, MILO, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, Rain or Shine, 1Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero, Philippine Basketball Association, OKBet, ICTSI, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation as major backers.
The 14-year-old Go won a world title in the Super ROK in Lonato, Italy to highlight his 2022 campaign in the racing track that also included a silver medal finish in the FIA Karting Academy in Genk, Belgium.
Aguilar on the other hand, became the youngest jiu-jitsu world champion when she captured the gold in the kids’ 1 under-16kg event of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
The five-year-old Aleia is the daughter of mixed martial arts champions Alvin Aguilar and Maybelline Masuda.
For their part, Carlos, So, and Dayanan Jr. topped their respective events in dominant fashion during the revived Batang Pinoy held in Ilocos Sur, while the Yulos clinched a combined five gold medals in their first international stint in the JRC Artistic Gymnastics Stars Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Also in Bangkok, the Philippine junior chess team did the country proud too, behind a massive 32 gold medal haul in the 6th Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championships, even as Mojdeh likewise delivered gold and silver medals in the PSI Philippine National Open and the Philippine National Age-Group Championship. (PR)