Go Teng Kyu

Orchids Garden Hotel
July 25, 2014
Go Teng Kyu

Oh how time flies.
When I was still a sports correspondent for the Manila Times in 1996, one of the first stories I wrote was about this sports official named Go Teng Kok. Go, you see, heads the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association. Fast forward to the present and he is still at the helm.
But on this momentuous day, a new era dawns on Philippine athletics.

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It is because the once unsinkable Go has passed the torched to Philipp Ella Juico. Juico, a former Phl Sports Commission chairman, was elected to succeed Go in PATAFA in a recent poll done at this small but nice hotel along the Vito Cruz, Manila strip. For 18 years, we’ve seen how Go went on with his business. He’s a fiery guy. Funny too. Generous to a fault also. Irritating at times being talkative. He’s brutally frank, never afraid to voice out his opinion. It’s either you love or hate the guy.

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Go has his ups and downs. Like everyone of us, he’s no saint. But instead of bringing up the bad, Sportsmaryosep is counting the positives. Under Go’s long watch, Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros and Eduardo Buenavista came through with some of their finest moments as athletes. In fairness, Go has no unliquidated cash advances unlike so many other unproductive national sports associations out there. In fact, he has spent a fortune right from his own pockets for track and field.
Here’s some interesting tweets from our colleague Abac Cordero, one of The Philippine STAR’s top sports guys:
In his farewell speech, Go Teng Kok said, “I leave Patafa with no unliquidated cash advances with the PSC and with no taint of corruption.”
After officers were named, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a board member, asked if there were objections. Go raised his hand, “Tumatawag ako waiter.”
Juico: I’m not a replacement of Mr. Go. Mr. Go cannot be replaced.
Phil Track and Field Assoc elections: Popoy Juico elected new president. Go Teng Kok steps down after reign of 24 years.

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Sportsmaryosep’s Prognosis: What I love about this recent development is that it gives the sport a chance to make radical changes. I mean, athletics has potential to do better with an influx of talented young athletes, a combination of Fil-Ams and local ones, who could be future or present goldmines for the country in international meets. Just recently, this 18-year-old Ateneo sophomore named EJ Obiena shattered 22-year-old national record in pole vault. And the boy is just one of many potential talents out there. It also gives the new leadership a chance to weed out non-performing coaches and athletes and put in deserving ones who put real work. For now though, I just want to thank Go. For the fun times and even the bad. And also to remind him that he can call me or visit me anytime at the media center. Just don’t forget to bring a chess set.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photos courtesy of Remate, Filipinomax.com, pinoyweb.info and pinoymiler.wordpress.com)

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