Senior citizen Wellington Yao finished his 100th marathon on July 30. That’s more than one race for each year of his life.
With a little help from his friends, Yao, 67, crossed the finish line of a 42.195-kilometer race at the 41st Milo Marathon’s National Capital Region elimination leg at Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.
It was close. Suffering from electrolyte imbalance just 400 meters from the finish line, he almost did not complete the race.
But friends escorted the exhausted Yao for the final stretch.
Yao’s first full marathon event was the 1987 Philippine Airlines Marathon, which he finished in three hours and 46 minutes.
In 1995, he clocked 4:04 in the 1995 Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest marathon.
He said he was the only Filipino among the 8,700 runners, a little over 1,000 of whom are non-Americans.
He has completed 11 ultra marathons and several triathlons. He was part of the Pinoy Ultra Runners, a group of 10 who ran 94 km from Tarlac to Clark in Pampanga and Clark to Subic in Olongapo, Zambales, in 2007.
“We were given permission to use the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway one year before it was opened for public use,” recalls Yao, or Uncle Willy to fellow runners and triathletes.
Yao, who stands at five feet 10 inches, is a chemical engineering graduate of De La Salle University.
When not training, which included running at least four hours on Sundays for the Milo event, Yao tends to the family business, a factory that manufactures welding nodes.
His wife and children play sports as well, but none are into running.
“I will continue running for as long as my legs could carry me,” says Yao.
Pinoy girl team bags gold in SG basketball tilt
The Philippine Girl Dribblers trounced host Singapore 82-32 in international basketball July 19 to clinch the gold medal in the 9th ASEAN Schools Games.
At Tampines Sports Hub, the undefeated Filipino team scored its fourth win in the tournament, its 50 points the biggest winning margin for the girls.
They earlier beat Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Player Kristine Cayabyab scored 21 markers in the final game. Kent Jane Pastrana and Jeeul Rhcoel B. Bartolo added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Philippines.
Pinay is Korea taekwondo champion
Psychology major Pauline Louise Lopez, 21, bagged a gold medal in the recent 2017 Korea Open international taekwondo championships in Chuncheon City, South Korea. Lopez, a student at Ateneo de Manila University, beat four opponents in the under-57 kilogram competition, then won over Brazil’s Rasaela Araujo, 16-11.
Negrense’s Foliage is ASEAN winner in Thailand
Christina Borromeo-Gaston, a furniture designer based in Negros, has been selected as the Philippine awardee at the ASEAN Selections 2017 in Thailand.
Her “Foliage Series of Coconut Twig Leaves” easily won over judges from Thailand, Japan and Korea. Gaston is creative director of Hacienda Crafts.
The “Foliage” concept series states: “We live surrounded by life. We must pay attention to it, take care of it.”
Gaston was one of nine awardees recognized by Amparwon Pichalai, chief executive officer of Support Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand.
Gaston is president of the Association of Negros Producers. She was nominated by the Design Center of the Philippines.
Bulacan a capella group wins top prize in Austria
Filipino contemporary pop a capella group Acapellago won three major prizes at the Vokal Total 2017 International A Cappella Competition in Graz, Austria.
The internet sensation group received three top prizes: Ward Swingle as Overall Champion, Gold Award in the Pop Category and the Audience Award.
The five musicians from Bulacan are Michelle Pascual (Soprano), Almond Bolante (Counter-Tenor), Joshua Cadeliña (Tenor), Ronnel Allen Laderas (Bass) and Ricky Gavin Laderas (Beatbox).
They bested groups from Italy, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Taiwan, Georgia, Romania, United States, France, Singapore.
At Vokal Total, Acapellago performed Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man,” Gloria Estefan’s “Conga,” Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” and Whitney Houston’s “Queen of the Night.”
Pinoy wizards win 52 medals in India math tilt
Students from the Philippines won big at the recently concluded 2017 India International Mathematics Competition.
The country’s team of elementary and high school students bagged a total of 52 medals, including four golds, in the contest held in Lucknow City from July 25 to 31.
In the elementary team contest, Team C, composed of Cassidy Kyler Tan, Kristen Steffi Teh, Enzo Rafael Chan, and Sean Matthew Tan, received four gold medals when they were named champion.
Elementary Team B won four bronze medals as second runner-up in the team contest, and a trophy for being first runner-up in the group contest.
Teams B and D received eight silver medals as first runner-up, while Team A got four bronze medals as second runner-up in the high school team contest.
The Philippine delegation bagged six silvers, 15 bronze, and 10 merit awards in the individual category.