Did he win it fair and square?
() - December 11, 2006 - 12:00am
Obscure runner Army Corporal Roosebelt Lobo was declared the National Milo Marathon 5k event champion but drew a howl of protest from a number of participants, including SEA Games gold medalist John Lozada.

The protestors cried foul right on the stage during the awarding ceremony, alleging Lobo and runners-up Ranel Kudera and Bernard Adano cheated their way to the 1-2-3 finish.

"Sumabay doon sa start ng 10k yang mga iyan. Eh, paano nila kami tatalunin, kami ang nagdala ng pace from start to finish ng 5k," said Relly Bilbar, claiming to be the rightful winner of the event.

Lozada, Mapua runners Marjohn Salanawon and Jerome Beredo and University of Baguio’s Cesar Castanedo backed Bilbar’s allegation, saying they never saw Lobo, Kudera and Adano in their group.

Lobo, however, insisted he won it fair and square and challenged the protesters to run another race.

"Bago pa mag-US embassy, nakawala na ako sa kanila. Talagang hindi ako nagpakita dahil alam kong babantayan nila ako," said Lobo, who also claimed to have been a consistent top 10 finisher in the Milo 5k run.

Milo Marathon organizer Rudy Biscocho let the awarding continue but promised to look into the protest.

"I don’t want the ceremonies disrupted, so the rankings stay. If proven that there’s an error, we will rectify and give them their prizes from my own pocket," said Biscocho.

"Pero mukhang malabo ang claim nila kasi nakabakod ang 10k. Ganon din ang 5k," Biscocho added.

The 42k was fired off at 4:30 a.m. then the 10k at 6 a.m. and the 5k three minutes later.

Media run victors

The media 5k run turned to be the most exciting side event of the Milo National Marathon Finals with Abante Tonite’s Ramil Cruz winning a down-the-wire battle with Bandera’s Lito Oredo.

Cruz denied Oredo a third straight championship and increased his edge to 4-2 in their head-on duels this year. Cruz and Oredo are among leading running enthusiasts in the sportswriting fraternity. Oredo has four Milo titles tucked under his belt.

Zenaida Dadacay of Business Mirror topped the female division with Malaya’s Christine Moncada coming in second.

Scene-stealer

Two lady members of the La Salle-Dasmariñas running team stole the scene during the cheer-dancing competition as they figured in a fight at the Rizal Grandstand.

Both sustained bruises and could have got even more if not for the timely intervention of some Army officers, including former national boxer Anthony Igusquiza, who happened to be wandering in the area.

Igusquiza, who fought in several international jousts, has quit the sport and is now detailed at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio. His group was at Luneta yesterday escorting PMA cadets. — Nelson Beltran

ABANTE TONITE ANTHONY IGUSQUIZA ARMY CORPORAL ROOSEBELT LOBO BISCOCHO BUSINESS MIRROR CESAR CASTANEDO CHRISTINE MONCADA CRUZ AND OREDO JOHN LOZADA KUDERA AND ADANO
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