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    Decades later, Recah Trinidad has no doubt Onyok robbed of Olympic gold

    Sep 8, 2020

    RECAH Trinidad was on the broadcast panel with fellow veteran journalist Ron delos Reyes when Mansueto 'Onyok' Velasco fought Bulgaria's Daniel Petrov Bojilov for the light-flyweight gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

    That moment is marked in history as the Philippines' closest brush with an elusive Olympic gold medal, which Trinidad was sure the diminutive Onyok Velasco - blessed with quick feet and a big wallop - was not going to waste.

    "Naghanda ako, nagbihis ako ng husto, yung paborito kong polo na puti [ang sinuot ko], dahil [alam namin] na ito na ang golden moment," says Trinidad, who recently retired as sports columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    As the match unfolded, however, Trinidad and delos Reyes' voices turn from hopeful to distraught to enraged as the Bulgarian slowly built up a margin, contrary to what the two broadcasters were witnessing before their very eyes.

    "What I shame," Recah remembers thinking.

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    When the result was announced, delos Reyes let out the anguished cry that still pains sports fans from that generation to this day.

    "We were robbed of the gold. We were robbed," Ron delos Reyes cried.

    Trinidad said he had to hold back tears after the match.

    "Naiyak si Onyok, ako pinigil ko luha ko," he remembers. "Mahirap ipaliwanag sa tao kung papaano tayo natalo dahil ang linaw-linaw sa laban na panalo si Onyok."

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    Twenty-four years since that fateful fight, Trinidad sits down to watch the fight again, this time with his son Chino in their 'Father Knows Best' podcast. Judging from his reaction, he remains as convinced as ever that Velasco should've won that fight.

    Let's watch with them:

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