YOU know something special is happening when sportswriters visit history as a point of comparison. Take the latest remarkable achievement, we won the overall title in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and almost always, the point of comparison is the 2005 campaign, the first time we won it.
Last weekend, at the tail end of our Sea Games campaign, I saw a post by PHL motor sports observer Bong Boado, who extolled Cebuano ace driver William John Riley Tiu Go for winning his third overall title this year.
“That’s remarkable,” I thought and filed it away for a post-Sea Games story. Days later, after getting more info on Go’s latest win, remarkable doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Bong, a decades-long observer of the sport, isn’t sure if this has ever happened before, a conversation he shared with a legend of motor sport racing whom he told, “The fact that you can’t remember means it may not have happened.”
But to be safe, let’s limit this remarkable feat to Philippine karting history, of which the Cebuano driver is now a part of. Like I said, winning one overall title is difficult, winning three puts you in a totally different pedestal.
It’s not even comparable to someone scoring 100 points in basketball--though that too, is something rare and something that happened in Cebu only once--because winning an overall title means a season-long top performance. Doing it three times means a consistent top performance in three different circuits.
Let’s take a look at Go’s latest triumph, the Asian Karting Open Championship. He got the overall title with 199 points, after earning 24 in the final leg. He finished 58 points clear of the second placer, meaning he could have just stayed in the sidelines in the final leg and played with his mobile phone and still come out the winner.
And here’s something that will truly define Go’s 2019 season. Between the pre-final of the first leg and the final of the third leg, he was consistent No. 1. That’s 13 straight times he was on the track and finished No. 1. He topped the pre-final and pre-final of leg 1 and extended that reign by topping all three qualifiers and the pre-final and final of both legs 2 and 3.
No wonder Bong spared no adjectives in describing Go’s latest achievement.
In Macau, the other drivers would wait for William to take the track before doing their drives. Why? So they can stay behind him and shave a few hundreds of a second drafting. Isn’t that something?