Panabo City folk: Barriga still our champion; hero’s welcome setBy Frinston L. Lim
TAGUM CITY, Philippines – Despite his elimination from the London Olympics following a razor-thin loss against a much taller opponent, Mark Anthony Barriga could still expect a hero’s welcome in his hometown Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
The 19-year-old light-flyweight bowed out of the London Games following a 16-17 defeat against Birzhan Zhakypov in their round of 16 match for the 49-kg division Saturday night.
Generose Tecson, chief of staff of second district Rep. Anton Lagdameo, said Barriga fought with his heart, and that “he’s still our champion.”
“I was somehow disappointed but Mark did his best” in his first Olympic outing, said Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) provincial chairman Edwin Pardillo.
Pardillo said Barriga could still improve his skills and train for 2016.
Tecson said the congressional office is also considering honoring Barriga.
“We’re so proud of him. For us, he won and no one can take that away,” said Tecson.