17 July 2008

Paeng Brings More Honor to the Country

Paeng Nepomuceno Guinness Record Holder
At the age of 51, Paeng Nepomuceno gave the country another honor after he was cited thrice by the Guinness Book of World Records. The latest citation came after he clinched his 118th career championship late last year, making him the holder of the most number of tenpin bowling titles.

The six-time world champion topped Melbourne’s South Pacific Classic on 18 September 2007, beating last year's World Tenpin Masters champion Jason Belmonte, 23, for his 118th crown.

"This is a great honor and I’d like to share it with all my countrymen," said Nepomuceno. "Whenever I compete, my countrymen always give me great support which inspires me to always do my best."

No other bowler in history has ever been honored for three world records. Aside from that, Nepomuceno's three records are still intact which just shows his unparalleled brilliance in this sports.

In the 288-page edition of the Guinness World Records 2008, Nepomuceno is mentioned under "Tenpin Bowling" in the "target sports" section of the chapter on sports.

Here is what it said:

"The tenpin-bowling World Cup (instituted in 1965) is contested annually by the national champions of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ). The most wins of the tenpin-bowling World Cup is four by Paeng Nepomuceno (Philippines) in 1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996.

"Three bowlers share the record for most World Cup tenpin-bowling titles won by a woman, with two wins each. They are Jeanette Baker (Australia) in 1982 and 1983, Pauline Smith (UK) in 1981 and 1993 and Shannon Pluhowsky (USA) in 2002 and 2004."

No male or female champion has been able to bag titles in a period of time longer than Nepomuceno's 20-year stretch from his first crown in 1976 to his fourth in 1996. The woman with the longest wait of 12 years in between two championships was Smith.

After Nepomuceno's win in Melbourne, the southpaw received the title Order of Lakandula with the special class of Champion for Life from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

It was Nepomuceno’s third presidential award after the Presidential Medal of Merit conferred by the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1984 and the Philippine Legion of Honor given by former President Joseph Estrada in 1999. The Senate and Congress have also recognized him as the greatest Philippine athlete of all time.

Nepomuceno’s name first appeared in the Guinness book as winner of four World Cup titles in three different decades—in Tehran on 19 November 1976; in Jakarta on 1 November 1980; in Le Mans, France, on 8 November 1992; and in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 23 November 1996.

He was honored the second time as the youngest bowler, at 19 years old, to win the World Cup.

According to renowned Philippine sportscaster, Joaquin M. Henson, "The Guinness World Records management team should also consider citing Nepomuceno for other accomplishments such as being the only bowler to be given the International Olympic Committee President's Trophy - the highest award for sports - in 1999 despite bowling's absence in the Olympic calendar, the only man to be named by the World FIQ as the Bowling Athlete of the Millennium, the only athlete to be recognized by the Bowler's Journal International as the greatest international bowler of all-time in 2003 and the only bowler to win world titles in five continents - the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa."

Whether or not Guinness considers Henson's suggestion, one thing is clear: Paeng is a world champion and we are proud to say that Paeng is a Filipino!