ONE of the country’s Olympic heroes is currently confined in a hospital due to serious illnesses.
Boxer Leopoldo Serantes, who won a bronze medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Philippine Veterans Hospital owing to pulmonary and heart ailments.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) tweeted about the condition of the 58-year-old fighter, requesting prayers from netizens for the recovery of Serantes, who was part of the latest inductees to the Philippine Hall of Fame.
Serantes has a long history of pulmonary disease.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson is currently coordinating with the PSC on the assistance the federation will be extending to the Filipino Olympian.
Serantes snared a bronze in the Seoul Games, ending a 24-year-old Olympic medal drought for the country that started after the late Anthony Villanueva bagged a silver in the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Campaigning at light-flyweight (-48 kgs), Serantes lost to Bulgarian Ivailo Khristov via shutout (5-0) in the semifinals to settle for the bronze medal.
But his bronze finish sparked an Olympic resurgence for the country which went on to win a bronze four years after (1992) in Barcelona courtesy of Roel Velasco and silver medal by brother Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Serantes was also a gold medalist in the 1985 Southeast Asian Games in Bangkok.