The Golden Girls are home and guess who was be there to meet the country’s Asian Games heroes?
The go-to guy SAP Bong Go.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s hardworking top aide who is also a rabid supporter of the country’s athletes showed his love for the four women who had brought the Philippines’ first three golds in the quadrennial sports showpiece which nears its end in Indonesia. Go was with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez to meet the athletes.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and the women’s golf team of Yuka Saso, Kaye Go, and Bianca Pagdanganan, who gave the Philippines all its three gold medals in the Asiad as of Tuesday night arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 via Philippine Airlines Flight PR 540 from Jakarta. The plane made its landing at around 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
“Congratulations to the Golden Girls of Philippine Sports! We are all so very proud of you. Welcome home!,” said Go as he posted his signature selfie pose with the four athletes on his Facebook account.
Go earlier congratulated Saso, Pagdanganan and Go for the double gold performance on Monday. He, along wth President Duterte, likewise praised Diaz for her inspiring feat.
Meeting Diaz and the golfers at the airport were their proud parents. Diaz’s comrades at the Philippine Air Force (PAF) also gave her a hero’s welcome outside the airport terminal.
The Zamboanga City pride drew first gold for the Philippines when she ruled the under-53 kilogram women’s weightlifting event. Her smashing triumph pushed her to get another shot at Olympic gold in the under-55 kilogram category in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Saso and Pagdanganan then went 1-3 in the women’s individual golf event, while Go joined them in giving the Philippines the women’s team golf gold.
Joining the four in arriving were the first wave of athletes and officials, whose stints in the Asiad are already done.
Meanwhile, for winning the country’s first gold medal in the 53-kg weightlifting category in the ongoing Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, Airwoman 1st Class Diaz was promoted to the next rank (sergeant) effective Tuesday.
The promotion was based on Special Order Number 475 and subjected to the Enlisted Personnel Promotion System in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Air Force spokesperson Maj. Aris Galang said Wednesday.
She was also awarded with a plaque of recognition for extra-ordinary and distinguished achievement, along with an Outstanding Achievement Medal with First Bronze Anahaw Leaf.
Aside from these awards, Diaz and two other Air Force weightlifter participants in the Asian Games, Airman 2nd Class Jeffrey Garcia and Airman 2nd Class Nestor Colonia, were given motorcade from Villamor Air Base’s Gate One to the Philippine Air Force Gymnasium.
Present during the ceremonies honoring Diaz and her two companions were PAF commander Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Hidilyn, a silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, bagged the Philippines’ first gold medal in the Asian Games capturing the women’s 53-kg event on the 115 Clean and Jerk categories for a total of 207 kilograms. (with a report from PNA)