Sports Eye

Taking a break in Taiwan


By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

ZHONGLI, TAOYUAN – After my last trip to Singapore five months ago, I took a brief break anew and chose this booming, beautiful and colorful country called Taiwan. Unlike my first visit here in 1980, I was amazed by the progress it had achieved over the decades with its clean environs, well-disciplined and well-mannered people. Yes, I was touched by its environment and I want to make another trip back here someday soon if I have the means and still physically fit to travel. We are not getting any younger and my dream today is to see the world and, if possible, watch as many international competitions in cycling, boxing, basketball, table tennis, volleyball and my newest sport, mixed martial art game.

Unknown perhaps to many, this renegade country of China with a population of 23.6 million inhabitants (2017 World Census) already garnered two gold medals in Olympic Games in 2004 Athens Olympic Games, both in taekwondo events by Chu Mu-yen in the men’s 59 kg. category and Chen Shih-hsin in the women’s 49 kg. division. Of course, both were given a heroes’ welcome. The Taiwanese team considered the 2004 Athens Games was their most successful since they joined the quadrennial meet in 1932. In all, Taiwan collected five medals (two golds, two silvers and one bronze). The Chinese Taipei always sends young contingent under the age of 25 years old and only their best. (In contrast, PH sends a delegation with aging athletes more for the junket than the games).

Taiwan will again be considered a dark-horse in 2018 Asian Games when it stands up to China, Japan, South Korea and Kazakhstan. I heard that its athletes usually are training in the United States like what Joseph Schooling did and gave his country Singapore its first ever gold medal with the world swimming record time in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
I will not be surprised if Taiwan with disciplined athletes will win more medals come 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With the blessing of God, I hope to realize my lifetime dream to watch the 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Siya nawa.

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Because of this journey, I could not watch the first game of the best-of-three championship series of the First Pangasinan Inter-Agency Basketball Tournament between the two crime-buster teams PNP-A and PNP-B. I’ll be home on November 10 so I will make it a point to watch the second game on Nov. 11, and the third, if there will be one.

Last that I heard from our province sports chief executive officer Modesto Operania, the second edition of the Pangasinan Inter-Town/Cities Basketball Tournament will commence on November 18 with so far 31 teams confirming their participation while teams from six towns are still awaiting their confirmation. The second edition is, as usual, another sports project of our sports-minded and dynamic father of the province Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III. Details on this tourney on the next issue. See you there.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” 1 TIMOTHY 6: 10.

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