SPECIAL FEATURE

FEG returned to Manila in 1919 with PH reclaiming overall crown

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The fourth staging of the Far Eastern Games in 1919 completed the first cycle of the region’s premier sporting event as it returned to the city where it was born I 1913 – Manila.

And the host country’s ‘Little Brown Dolls’ … and ‘Gals’, like in 1913, didn’t disappoint their countrymen winning back the general championship, though unofficially.

No general championship was awarded the in the Fourth, Fifth and 10th editions of the Games. But based on the number of sports each country dominated, the Philippines unofficially won the Fourth and Fifth with Japan taking the 10th.

In the final analysis, after the 10t staging in 1934, the Philippines emerged the overall winner four tines 1913, 1919, 1921 and 1925) Japan five times (1917, 1923, 1927, 1930 and 1934. and China one (1915).


Jovito Gonzales, six-time member of the national basketball team from 1913 to 1923. PHOTO FROM EDDIE ALINEA’S FILE

In 1919, the Filipino athletes, scored heavily, here else, but in track and field where they were the dominant force since the Games inaugurals in 1913, kept the title in basketball, their fourth straight, while winning back the baseball, swimming, tennis (singles) and volleyball plums.

The Japanese, the general champions in Tokyo 1917, could only managed to victories in tennis (doubles) and marathon, while the Chinese only had one in football.

Filipino sprint king Fortunato Catalon, as expected, remained Asia’s fastest man sweeping anew the 100-yard and 220-yard runs, earning his third jewel by anchoring again the counry8’s 4×220 relay quartet in a team up with Francisco Danao, Nicolas Machan and Quedilla.

Danao took top honors it he 440-yard run and led the Philippine 4×440-yard relay team to the gold medal along with Quedilla, P. Naval and Vicente Malinao. He, too, won the 1-mile race.

Completing the Filipino runners, jumpers and throwers domination of athletics were Alejo Alvarez in shot put and discus throw, Antonino Alo in pole vault, Machan in broad jump and long jump.

Also emerging victors were Valentin Malinao in 880-yard run, Constantino Rabaya in 120-yard hurdles Calixto Bello in 220-yard hurdle, Rufino Ico in high jump and J. Gumabay in javelin throw.

In winning the 220-yarsd dash in a quick 23-second flat clocking, Catalon shattered his old 23.8 seconds winning time set to two years ago in Tokyo. He, too, equaled his 10.0 second flat in the 100-yard, made also in 1917.

Rabaya’s 16.2 seconds effort in the 880-yard was faster than his 17.0 seconds performance in the same event, also in Tokyo. So did Bello in the 220-yard where he was timed 26 seconds as compared to 28.6 second of teammate Isabelo Astraquillo, winner of the event in 1917.

Machan’s .77-yard winning leap in long jump was .20-yasdrd farther than the 6.57 he established in 1917. Gumabay rounded out the 1919 Filipino record-breakers with his 46.44-yard showing in javelin, better than the 43-74-yard of Kenkichi Saito of Japan in Tokyo.

After helping the host country’s track and field squad in its gold medal rampage in athletics, Rabaya still had to proceed to the basketball court where, along with Jovito Gonzales, who was in his fourth straight FEG stint, and secretary of justice to-be Jose Bengzon.

Also in that four straight champion five were Aurelio Buenconsejo, Jose Genato, Ignacio Manalac, Eusebio Quintana, Jose Quintana, and Claudio Sandoval n gifting the Philippines its fourth consecutive cage diadem.

With Vicenre Jaropillo, who was to become the country’s no 1 pitcher, reinforcing the national baseball side, the Filipino sluggers dethroned as champion I 1915, won back the title.

Other member of the PH IX were sophomore Julio Tingzon Ramon Banez, Pablo Belmonte, Juan Ber­nales, Marcelo Caguia, Rafael Cala, Manuel Danseco, Francisco Fernando, Mariano Gangan, Ismael Perez, Hugo Ramas, Rosendo Santos Honofre Tiangco, and Braulio Veniegas.

Not to be outdone, the PH spikers, the 1913 titlists, took revenge over two-time champion China, thanks to a rejuvenated lineup that included, basketball standouts Vicente Avena and Augusto Bautista, soon-to-be volleyball association president Tomas de Castro to bring home the bacon, too.

In the team too, were Clodualdo Angbengco, Florencio Artates, Marciano Bagondayao, Leon Cervantes, Matias dela Cruz, Ladislao Lacaste, Estanislao Mancilla, Ramon Nolasco, Leon Reyes, Miguel delos Reyes, Dominador Tejada, Demetio Valdomar and Pedro Yumul.

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