Bago City native Rogen Ladon beat his Indian opponent yesterday in the semifinals of the light flyweight division of the AIBA Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifying Tournament in China to secure a ticket to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this August.
Ladon's inclusion to the Philippine Olympic Team came 20 years after fellow Bagoeño Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. gifted the Philippines with an Olympic silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and 24 years after Onyok's brother, Roel, brought home a bronze medal from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
He secured his ticket to the Rio Olympics yesterday by defeating India's Devendro Singh Laisham and will fight for the gold against Uzebekistan's Hasanboy Dusmatov in the finals today.
Ladon's victory was hailed by Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. who enjoined all Negrenses to pray for his victory and safety against Dusmatov.
“The semifinal victory of Ladon from Brgy. Lag-asan is a source of pride for the Negrenses. As he goes up the ring for the championship today, I am enjoining Negrenses to pray for his victory and safety,” the governor said.
Bago City Mayor Ramon Torres also congratulated Ladon for qualifying into the Olympics, saying that the 22-year-old boxer has booked himself into the long list of successful amateur boxers and Olympians from Bago City.
“Once again, Bago City has proven its niche as the `Boxing Capital' of the Phliippines,” Torres said.
A son of a tricyle driver, Ladon completed his elementary education in Lag-asan Elementary School and spent his high school freshman year at Ramon Torres National High School before he was tapped to join the national junior boxing team.
He was among the recipients of the Gawad Bagonhon Award during the 50 th Charter Anniversary of Bago City last month.
Meanwhile, also qualifying for the Rio Olympic was boxer Charlie Suarez, who stopped his Chinese opponent Shan Jun in the other semifinals bout of the AIBA event yesterday.
Both Ladon and Suarez have Nolito and Roel Velasco and three-time Olympian Romeo Brin.*AFP
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