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SEA Games: Surfing sensation Roger Casogay gets Fair Play Athlete award

By Jan Carlo Anolin

CAPAS, TARLAC — And the Fair Play Athlete award goes to… Roger Casogay!

The 25-year-old surfer received the award in front of approximately 15,000 roaring spectators at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium late Wednesday night.

Filipino surfer and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Roger Casogay receives the Fair Play Athlete award during the closing ceremony of the 30th SEA Games at New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas Tarlac, Dec. 11, 2019. (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8)

Filipino surfer and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Roger Casogay receives the Fair Play Athlete award during the closing ceremony of the 30th SEA Games at New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas Tarlac, Dec. 11, 2019. (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8)

Casogay’s heroics became one of the highlights of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, making him an instant fan favorite and earning him the honor of bearing the Philippine flag in the closing ceremony.

No less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in fact, lauded Casogay’s sportsmanship

“Winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but humanity is above all. My appreciation for Roger Casogay, a Filipino surfer who gave up the golden opportunity to help Indonesian athletes who fell in the race,” Widodo said in a tweet Monday.

Casogay sacrificed his lead and came to the aid of Indonesian competitor Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat, who was overrun by huge waves due to a broken leash, which prompted the postponement of the matches.

Casogay eventually bagged the country’s first gold medal in the sports after defeating fellow Filipino and friend Rogelio ‘Jay-R’ Esquivel Sunday.

In a recent interview, the La Union native champion downplayed his action and stepped away from the phrase being heaped over him.

“Hindi po ako hero kasi ang nangyari kahapon, hindi siya nalunod kundi natatangay lang siya kaya pinapabalik ko lang dahil malalim na.”

Source: Manila Bulletin

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