WORLD pool champion Carlo Biado is determined to make sure his gold medal in the last edition of the World Games in Wrocław, Poland five years ago — then the country’s first mint in the quadrennial meet — will not be his last.
Armed with his vast experience and penchant for magical shots reminiscent of his idol and Filipino icon Efren “Bata” Reyes, Mr. Biado overcame upset-conscious Wiktor Zieliński of Poland with a pulsating 11-10 win on Thursday that set in motion his bid for a second gold in World Games in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States.
All the reigning US Open titlist did was just hang tough enough and come up with that spectacular 1-9 combo shot when the duel went hill-hill to quash Mr. Zielinski’s upset attempt in the men’s race-to-11, 9-ball event.
The heart-pounding win sent Biado straight to the quarterfinals where he would tackle a fellow world champion in Albin Ouschan of Austria, who turned back Aden Carl Joseph of South Africa, 11-8.
Mr. Biado is not only seeking his second gold in the event, but also the country’s second in the Birmingham tilt after Fil-Japanese karateka Junna Tsukii struck one a few days ago.
Another Filipino world champion, Rubilen Amit, will launch her golden campaign as she squares off with German national champion Pia Filler in the women’s 9-ball event on Friday.
Ms. Amit was fresh from her double-gold triumph (9-ball and 10-ball) in last May’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games and should come in with a lot of confidence against Ms. Filler.
Meanwhile, Fil-Karateka Junna Tsukii will receive P1 million as incentive from government for recently striking gold in the World Games in Birmingham, United States.
Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge Atty. Guillermo Iroy on Thursday confirmed the news saying the reward will come from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
“Yes, she (Tsukii) will receive a P1-million incentive for that gold in the World Games,” said Mr. Iroy.
It was a fitting bonus for someone who missed a gold in the event she was expected to dominate following her controversial early exit.
Ms. Tsukii was the first Filipino athlete to receive the incentive under the new leadership of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. — Joey Villar