Nepomuceno named flag-bearer anew for 15th Doha Asiad By June Navarro



    Republished courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct. 18, 2006)

    Paeng_Nepomuceno_2560.jpg He first carried the Philippine flag in the Hiroshima Asian Games 12 years ago. Now, Paeng Nepomuceno, hailed as the greatest Filipino athlete of all time, will again be accorded the honor come the 15th Asian Games' inaugural in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 1.

    Mark Joseph, deputy secretary general of the Philippine Olympic Committee, yesterday announced the selection of the 49-year-old Nepomuceno, honored as International Bowler of the Millennium by the world FIQ, the sport's governing body.

    Nepomuceno, the only four-time World Cup titlist and six-time world champion, will lead the 351-strong Philippine delegation in the 45-country parade for Asia's biggest sporting event.

    "It's a big honor for me," said Nepomuceno, who won a silver medal in the Hiroshima Asiad. "But being the country's flag-bearer is a big responsibility. I'll try to give my best in Doha."

    Nepomuceno, who also carried the flag twice in the Southeast Asian Games, captured his first Asiad gold medal in 2002 in Busan, South Korea, when he ruled the doubles with RJ Bautista.

    Sans Bautista this time, Nepomuceno, the only Filipino recipient of the International Olympic Committee president's trophy and a consistent entry in the Guinness World Records since 1994, will defend the title with another partner.

    Meanwhile, 34 athletes comprise the first wave of Filipinos that will leave for Doha on Nov. 26.