PH surfer Casugay gets 'fair play athlete' award

PH surfer Casugay gets 'fair play athlete' award
DUTERTE WITH PH SURFING TEAM. President Rodrigo Duterte meets with the Philippine Surfing Team, including Roger Casugay who saved his Indonesian rival during the competition, at the Malacañan Palace on Dec. 10. Casugay helped Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat back to shore after the latter broke his ankle leash and was swept by big waves at Monaliza Point in San Juan, La Union Friday last week. (Presidential Photo)

MANILA — National team surfer Roger Casugay’s heroic act has been rewarded on Wednesday night as he was named the “Fair Play Athlete” of this year’s Southeast Asian Games.

At the closing ceremonies at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac the Filipino surfer was given the recognition as a tribute to his heroic sportsmanlike deed during the biennial meet’s surfing event in San Juan, La Union.

With the town still reeling from the effects of Typhoon “Tisoy” (Kammuri) on Friday last week, Casugay gave up a chance to pull away from Indonesia’s Arip Nurhidayat after his surfboard got damaged and eventually sank, went back, and saved him from drowning.

The act of sportsmanship even got the nod from Indonesian president Joko Widodo, saying, “Winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but humanity is above all. My appreciation for Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who gave up the golden opportunity to help an Indonesian athlete who fell in the race.”

Casugay eventually won the event he was in, the men’s longboard event, and gave the Philippines one of its 149 total gold medals. (PNA)

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