PSC fetes Eala, Bolden in Women in Sports Awards

FOR their sparkling exploits in their respective sports, tennis sensation Alex Eala and top Filipinas striker Sarina Bolden were named the joint Athletes of the Year of the inaugural Women in Sports Awards on March 20, 2024, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

A winner of the Australian and French Open junior doubles plums and a US Open junior singles crown in 2022, the globe-hopping Eala highlighted her flourishing career with a pair of bronze medals in the women’s singles and mixed doubles in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games last October.

The 18-year-old southpaw has also won four titles and two runner-up finishes as a pro on the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour and currently boasts a career-high of No. 176 in the ITF women ratings.

Bolden has been the offensive linchpin of the Filipinas over the last six years, appearing in 44 international matches and scoring 28 goals since making her debut with the national women’s football team in 2018.

The awards night designed to honor the nation’s top women athletes and women sports heroes was conceptualized by the Philippine Sports Commission-Women In Sports under the office of PSC Commissioner Olivia ”Bong’’ Coo.

The awardees were nominated by the national sports associations under the Philippine Olympic Committee and went through a stringent selection process by the five-man judges panel. Stephen Fernandez of the Philippine Olympians Association, Nikko Huelgas of the POC Athletes Commission, Judith Staples of Masters Athletics, Carlo Sampan of Milo Philippines and Judith Caringal from the sports media comprise the judges panel, which made sure that all awardees are deserving.

They came up with the criteria for selection with support from the Philippine Commission on Women.

After a series of thorough deliberations among the judges, the awardees were chosen from the list of nearly 200 nominees across 78 sports based on their contribution to the promotion and development of their sport apart from being the top woman achiever in their sport last year.

In 2021, Bolden powered the Filipinas in securing their first FIFA World Cup appearance in reaching the semifinals of the AFC Women’s Cup in India in January then led them to the AFF Women’s Championship at the Rizal Memorial Stadium a few months later.

In PH side’s World Cup debut, she scored the “shot” heard around the world - a hammering header in lifting the Filipinas to a monumental 1-0 upset of the New Zealand Ferns in front of a stunned hometown crowd at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on July 25, 2023.

“The decision to award both Eala and Bolden as Athletes of the Year was quite unanimous. Both are deserving of recognition for not only making us proud of their achievements but also for serving as positive role models as Filipina athletes,” said PSC Commissioner Coo. / PR


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