2018 Philippine sports in review: Pinoys leave mark on global stage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2018 05:45 AM | Updated as of Dec 29 2018 12:37 PM

The phrase "history was made" was used on a number of occasions in 2018, as Filipino athletes asserted themselves in international competition.

Here are some of their most noteworthy accomplishments on the year.

PHILIPPINE AZKALS

The men's national football team made history on March 27 when the Filipinos downed visiting Tajikistan 2-1 to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the first time ever. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

CARINA DAYONDON (MOUNTAIN CLIMBING)

She became the first Filipina to summit the highest peak in each of the seven continents, and the second from the Philippines to do so behind Romi Garduce in 2012. Carina Dayondon's Facebook page

FILIPINA ATHLETES IN THE ASIAN GAMES

For the first time in the Philippines' participation in the continental competition, all of the country's gold medals came from women — weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, and golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go. Mohd Rasfan, AFP; PSC/POC media group; Darren Whiteside, Reuters

FILIPINO BOXERS

Manny Pacquiao (welterweight), Nonito Donaire Jr. (bantamweight), Jerwin Ancajas (junior bantamweight), and Vic Saludar (minimumweight) won their respective world-title bouts, proving the Philippines remains a hotbed of professional champions.

NEIL ETHERIDGE (FOOTBALL)

The UK-born goalkeeper made history when he started for Cardiff City on August 11 to become the first Filipino and player of Southeast Asian heritage to feature in the Premier League. John Sibley, Action Images via Reuters

N.U. BULLDOGS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM

The Philippines, featuring players from the reigning UAAP champions, catapulted to the top of Southeast Asian volleyball, when the Bulldogs downed Thailand in four sets to capture the ASEAN University Games gold. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MEGGIE OCHOA (JIU-JITSU)

It was fruitful year for the 28-year-old, who won tournaments in London and Sweden, and finished with a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN (GOLF)

The University of Arizona varsity player helped her school bag the US NCAA title in May, before joining the gold-winning Philippines team in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta in August. Fred Dufour, AFP

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DRAGON BOAT TEAM

The Filipino paddlers brought home 5 gold and 2 silver medals in the International Canoe Federation world championships in Gainesville, George in September.

In January, the team won two bronze medals in a world ice dragon-boat tournament in China. Handout

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL PARA-ATHLETES

Differently abled Filipino athletes brought home a record 10 gold, 8 silver and 11 bronze medals in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta in October.

The Philippines hadn't won this many total medals (29 overall in Indonesia) in the history of the competition. Prior to this year's Games, the national team hadn't even tasted gold. Janet Tenorio, Philippine Sports Commission

WESLEY SO (CHESS)

The US-based Filipino grandmaster won the opening leg of the elite Grand Chess Tour in Belgium in June.

At the end of the 5-leg competition, So finished fifth in a field of 10 players. USChessChamps.com

CARLOS YULO (GYMNASTICS)

The 18-year-old made history by becoming the first Filipino to win a medal in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) world championships. He did it by earning a bronze in the men's floor event in the Doha tournament in November.

Yulo also bagged a silver in a Qatar tournament in March and another bronze in Germany in late November. Both competitions were under FIG, the sport's world governing body. Cathal McNaughton, Reuters

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