Un­prece­dented 17 ti­tles for UC

Sun Star Cebu Yearbook - - TOP STORIES IN SPORTS -

When Michael Ichiro Kong was born, the Univer­sity of Cebu ( UC) Web­mas­ters was well on its way to es­tab­lish­ing a dom­i­nant pres­ence in the Milo Lit­tle Olympics, win­ning a fourth straight over­all ti­tle in the sec­ondary di­vi­sion. Thir­teen years later, UC’s fate would lie largely on the shoul­ders of the 13- year- old sopho­more, who would come up with one of the most im­pres­sive per­for­mances in Milo Lit­tle Olympics his­tory to help seal 17 ti­tles in 17 years for UC. Kong joined 15 swim­ming events, win­ning a medal in 14 of them. Thanks to Kong’s heroic show­ing in the pool, UC fin­ished with 176.25 points, beat­ing the Univer­sity of San Car­los ( USC), which gained 161.5, its best show­ing in years. “This is by far the sea­son that gave us the big­gest scare for the over­all ti­tle. I did not have a good sleep this whole time,” said UC ath­let­ics di­rec­tor Bernard Ri­ca­blanca. At one point, while of­fi­cials de­lib­er­ated on the re­sults in swim­ming, UC’s lead was down to four points, right af­ter USC swept the chess com­pe­ti­tions. But Kong made sure UC wouldn’t re­lin­quish its ti­tle. Fielded in as many events as pos­si­ble, Kong had nine gold medals. He also set three records, among them a 2: 28.76 im­prove­ment of his own 2: 29.03 record in the 200- me­ter but­ter­fly. “I am pretty tired but I am glad I helped the team out,” said Kong. It wasn’t all rosy for the multi- event meet. Al­le­ga­tions of cheat­ing in, of all things, scrab­ble marked the Lit­tle Olympics. But stel­lar feats like that of UC and Kong are what most peo­ple re­mem­ber and are in­spired by.

STAR FOTO/ ALEX BADAYOS)

WIN­NING 9 GOLDS FOR THE TEAM. Michael Ichiro Kong of the Univer­sity of Cebu breaks the Milo record ( his own

record, too) in the 200- me­ter in­di­vid­ual med­ley. ( SUN.

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