Simeon Toribio Miguel White Nepomuceno & Catalon
Andres Franco Other male sprinters
Lydia de Vega Muna Sulaiman Inocencia Solis Amelita Alanes
Rogelia Ferres Lolita Lagrosas Visitacion Badana Elma Muros Josephine dela Vina
Other track and field stars
Simeon Toribio, the pride of Zamboanga, was considered the "Filipino Field Athlete of the Half Century" and "Asia's Best Athlete" for winning gold medals in the high jump event in the Far Eastern Olympics in 1921, 1923, 1927, 1930 and 1934 and a bronze medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
According to author Jorge Afable, Toribio could have won the gold medal, if not only for the "call of nature." It was a grueling four-hour competition to jump over the bar raised at 6 feet and six inches high. Toribio, who once made the jump, failed to overcome it the second time because he was distressed by call of nature. Before this, Toribio narrowly missed the bronze in the 1928 Amsterdam Games.
In 1930, Toribio was awarded the Helms World Trophy for being Asia's greatest athlete. He became a lawyer and a congressman representing Bohol province where he later settled.
Miguel White, a former army officer with an American father, represented the Philippines in the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he must have met American track and field legend Jesse Owens. White brought home a bronze medal in 400-meter hurdles event.
NEPOMUCENO and CATALON
Two Filipinos - David Nepomuceno and Fortunato Catalon - were considered world-class sprinters in the 1920s. The two, rivals in the local scene, have hauled gold medals from the Far Eastern Games.
In 1924, Nepomuceno represented the Philippines in the Paris Olympiad where he ran the 100 meters in 10.8 seconds and was clocked 22.5 seconds in the 200-meter dash. In 1925, Nepomuceno ran the 100 meters in only two-tenths of a second short of the world record then.
Meanwhile, Charles Paddock, the fastest man in the 1920s, in a visit to the Philippines, described Fortunato Catalon as your "champion of champions".
Andres Franco won a gold medal in the high jump event at the 1951 New Delhi Asiad and a bronze medal in the same event at the 1954 Manila Asiad.
Other Male Sprinters
Genaro Cabrera, who finished the 100-meter race in 10.7 seconds, won the silver medal at the 1954 Manila Asiad. Isaac Gomez won a bronze in the same event at the 1958 Tokyo Asiad while Rogelio Onofre added another bronze at the 1962 Jakarta Asiad. Enrique Bautista also clinched the bronze in the 200-meter dash at the 1958 Tokyo Asiad. In the 400-meter race, Pablo Somblingo won the silver at the 1958 Tokyo Asiad and Isidro del Prado also got the silver at the 1986 Seoul Asiad.
LYDIA DE VEGA
Lydia de Vega-Mercado was considered Asia's fastest woman in the 1980s. As Asia's sprint queen, she ran away with the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in the 1982 New Delhi Asiad and duplicated the feat in the 1986 Seoul Asiad where she was clocked 11.53 seconds. She also brought home a silver medal in the 200-meter race from the 1986 Seoul Asiad. De Vega now serves as a councilor of her native Meycauayan town in Bulacan province.
Before Lydia de Vega entered the scene, there was Mona Sulaiman, a Mindanao-born sprinter who was declared Asia's fastest woman when she won two gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash events at the 1962 Jakarta Asiad. She finished the 100-meter race in 11.93 seconds ahead of two Japanese runners and the 200-meter sprint in 24.63 seconds ahead of a Japanese and a Sri Lankan. She also won a bronze in shot put event at the 1962 Jakarta Asiad.
Inocencia Solis was declared the fastest women in All of Asia in 1958 when she finished the 100-meter sprint in 12.5 seconds ahead of two Japanese runners in the Tokyo Asian Games. Before this, she won the bronze medal in the 200-meter dash event at the 1954 Manila Asiad. She was from Iloilo City.
Amelita Alanes won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1970 Bangkok Asiad.
a hurdler, was an Asian
Games medallist in the 1950s. Ferrer was born in Negros Occidental province.
Lolita Lagrosas had collected a total of five Asiad medals. She won the silver medals in women's high jump event at the 1958 Tokyo Asiad and 1966 Bangkok Asiad and the bronze in the same event at the 1970 Bangkok Asiad. She clinched the bronze medals in pentathlon at the 1966 and 1970 Bangkok Asiads.
Visitacion Badana brought
home the gold medal in the long jump event from the 1958 Tokyo Asiad.
JOSEPHINE DELA VINA
Josephine dela Vina clinched the gold medal in the discuss throw event at the 1966 Bangkok Asiad. Before this, she won the bronze in the same event at the 1962 Jakarta Asiad.
Elma Muros-Posadas, a sprinter, hurdler and long jumper, has collected a total of 13 gold medals from her numerous stints at the Southeast Asian Games. She also brought home a bronze medal in 400-meter hurdles from the 1990 Beijing Asiad and another bronze in long jump from the 1994 Hiroshima Asiad.
Other Track and Field Stars
Among other athletes who have rewarded the country with honor by their sterling performance in track and field are Aurelio Amante, Leopoldo Anillo, Marcelina Alonzo, Roberta Anore, Jovencio Ardina, Erasma Arellano, Gaspar Azares, Visitacion Badana, Lerma Balauitan Ciriaco Baronda, Hector Begeo, Tomas Bennet, Eduardo Buenavista, Manolita Cinco, Artemio Cortez, and Isabel Cruz;
Eusebio Ensong, Susano Erang, Romero Gido, Arsenio Jasmin, Lolita Lagrosas, Honesto Larce, Erlinda Lavandia, Bievenido Llaneda, Tokal Mokalam, Cristabel Martes;
Cipriano Niera, Irene Penuela, Jaime Pimentel, Nilo Ramirez, Visitacion Ribagorda, Ernesto Rodriguez, Amelita Saberon, Fracisca Sanopal, Vivencia Subido, Lydia Sylvanetto, Lucila Tolentino and Roy Vence.