Freeman Cebu Sports

Shower of plaudits upon Doc Yong for historic feat

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Praises, plaudits, and tributes - both from private and government sectors - shower upon the highly esteemed Cebuano eye surgeon Dr. Potenciano ‘Yong’ S. Larrazabal III following his monumental feat in the field of marathon three weeks ago.

Larrazabal made history as first Filipino to conquer the punishing World Marathon Challenge comprised of seven marathons on seven continents in just seven days from February 6-12 this year.

He ran the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours under varying weather conditions - from the extreme sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica to the scorching heat of Brazil - to accomplish something that no other Filipino runner has done before.

His record-establishing performance earned him various awards and commendations.

Last February 17, Cebu 5th District Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” D. Frasco filed House Resolution No. 720 at the House of Representatives congratulating and commending Larrazabal for his remarkable achievement.

“In light of this celebration and inspiring moment for our country, the victory of Dr. Yong Larrazabal is commendable and deserves our utmost recognition by our nation,” stated Frasco in his resolution.

Then on the occasion of Cebu City’s 83rd Charter Day celebration last February 24 at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu Hotel and Casino, the city government of Cebu under the leadership of mayor Edgardo Labella and vice mayor Michael Rama conferred upon Larrazabal the “Outstanding Individual” award “for his extraordinary feat”.

Two days later, Cebu City North District Rep. Raul V. Del Mar filed House Resolution No. 744 at the House of Representatives conferring national appreciation and recognition to Doc Yong “for his rare achievement and for bringing singular honor to the country and providing an example to Filipinos in various fields of sports”.

“Yong Larrazabal displayed the sportsman’s grit, focus and endurance, qualities that other Filipinos in various field of sports can emulate; his feat has also complemented his advocacy for good health through sports,” stated Del Mar.

Capping off what has been a stellar month for Doc Yong, the president and chairman of  Cebu Doctors’ Group of Hospitals received a Special Citation from the Sportswriters Association of Cebu during the San Miguel Brewery-backed 37th SAC-SMB All-Cebu Sports Awards last February 29 at SM City-Cebu “for his excellence in athletics and contributing to the professionalism of the sport.”

Doc Yong said he is very grateful for all the recognition bestowed upon him.

“This is not just an affirmation of the hardwork but also of faith in what I do,” said Larrazabal, a holder of Six Star Finisher Medal from the Abbott World Marathon Majors for completing six of the world’s largest road races (New York City, Berlin, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and Boston) and a member of the exclusive 7 Continents Marathon Club. “I am humbled to accept these awards because it is a reminder that anything is possible if our will is strong.”

“I hope this will also serve as an inspiration to the younger generations especially to  the Cebuanos to stay active and dream bigger in whatever field they are in, may it be in sports or career,” he ended.

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