POC honored after Hidilyn Diaz's historic gold

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 27 2021 11:11 AM

 President Rep. Abraham
President Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino. File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) recently recognized the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) after Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz's historic gold medal in the Tokyo Games.

The POC was hailed as the "Breakthrough NOC" during the ceremony held this weekend in Heraklion, Greece, with POC president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino receiving the award virtually.

"The POC is honored to receive this award from the ANOC. It’s been almost a century, or after 22 Olympics, that we finally won our first Olympic gold medal," said Tolentino.

Diaz won the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal when she topped the women's 55kg division in Tokyo. The Philippines added two silvers courtesy of boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, and a bronze from boxer Eumir Marcial.

"This award is not only for the POC, but for the entire country and the 15 other Filipino athletes who gallantly competed in the Tokyo Olympics," said Tolentino.

POC President Rep. Abraham
POC President Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino receives the "Breakthrough NOC" award. Handout photo

The ANOC Awards were held for the first time in Bangkok in 2014 and have been held every year since then. The event was created in order to recognize and honor the achievements of the NOCs and their athletes as well as distinguished members of the Olympic family.

Also receiving the award for winning their first Olympic gold medals were Bermuda (women's triathlon) and Qatar (weightlifting). Burkina Faso, San Marino and Turkmenistan were also recognized for clinching their first ever medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, Greek Culture and Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis and representatives from the IOC, NOCs, international federations and other Olympic stakeholders attended the awards.

The ANOC also conducted its general assembly where officials from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing made a presentation.