Espino, Sulaiman head 13 more Hall of Fame nominees
LOOKING back at their feats, swimmer Haydee Coloso-Espino, sprinter Mona Sulaiman and shooter Martin Gison should hold the torch for the fresh batch of inductees in the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame.
The Philippine Sports Commission will enshrine 10 sports heroes during the agency’s 26th anniversary on Jan. 24 with the trio heading the list of 40 or so nominees from the period covering 1924 to 1974.
The other top nominees are Raymundo Deyro and Felicisimo Ampon of tennis, trackster Inocencia Solis, swimmers Artemio Salamat, Jacinto Cayco, Isaac Gomez and Jocelyn Von Giese, and basketball’s double Asiad gold medalists Lauro Mumar, Ramon Manulat, Eduardo Lim, Kurt Bachmann and Ignacio Ramos.
Mariano Tolentino is also a strong contender after helping the national basketball team win three consecutive Asiad titles. He was also part of the bronze-medal winning team, powered by Caloy Loyzaga, in the 1954 world championship.
PSC Chair Richie Garcia heads the screening and selection committee with Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. as vice chair.
“Our criteria is not only based on what these athletes achieved, but also on the impact their victories made,” said Garcia.
Espino won two golds (100m butterfly and 100m freestyle) in the 1954 Manila Asian Games and another in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad (400m medley relay).
Sulaiman became Asia’s fastest woman when she ruled the 100m and 200m dash in 1962 Jakarta and anchored the team to the 4x100m relay gold.
Gison topped the rapid fire pistol and air rifle events in the 1954 Asiad while earning silvers in the free rifle, rapid fire pistol silhouette and rifle 3-position.
The first batch of Hall of Fame inductees were named during the term of PSC Chair Harry Angping in 2010.
Enshrined at that time were Gabriel Elorde (pro boxing), amateur boxers Jose Villanueva, Ceferino Garcia, Pancho Villa and Anthony Villanueva, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, track and field’s Miguel White and Simeon Toribio, Loyzaga and the 1954 men’s basketball team.