Heroes’ welcome awaits Asian Games medalists

The City Government will roll out a special ceremony befitting of a hero for Zamboangueño athletes who reaped medals in the recently concluded 18th  Asian Games in Jakarta Indonesia.

Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting) and bronze medalists Jefferson Loon (pencak silat) and Eumir Marcial (boxing) are expected to arrive in Zamboanga City on Monday, September 10.

Mayor Beng Climaco will spearhead the welcome program that will coincide with the flag raising ceremony at 8am in front of City Hall.

The program will be highlighted by the presentation of ceremonial checks representing the athletes’ cash incentives for winning medals in the Asian Games, a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. Based on the ordinance, incentives for Asian Games medalists are as follows: P300K each for gold medalists, P200K each for silver medalists and P100K each for bronze medalists.

A motorcade will be held from the Zamboanga International Airport to the City Hall where the special welcome ceremony will be held.

Diaz, silver medalist in the 2017 Rio Olympics, won the first gold for the Philippines in the Asian Games held in Indonesia from August 18- Sept 2. Diaz topped the weightlifting competition, women’s 53 kg division.

Loon captured bronze in the pencak silat competition, men’s Class D 60-65-kgs, tanding (sparring). Loon was also a bronze medalist in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in 2017 in Malaysia.

Marcial on the other hand, won the bronze medal in the boxing competition, men’s middle-75 kgs category. Marcial was a gold medalist in the International Boxing Tournament “Ulaanbaatar Cup” (light middleweight category) held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in June last year.

The special events team in collaboration with the City Sports Division is finalizing details for the heroes’ welcome activity. (Sheila Covarrubias)