March 02, 2024

HER SIDE OF THE COURT | A Filipina completes World Marathon Challenge, and more good news for women’s sports

HER SIDE OF THE COURT | A Filipina completes World Marathon Challenge, and more good news for women’s sports
PFF | World Marathon Challenge | Manila Hustle 3x3

Despite facing numerous challenges, such as limited resources and support, Filipina athletes continue to strive for greatness and make their country proud. They are an inspiration to not only their fellow Filipinos but to people all over the world who admire their perseverance and resilience. Whether it's in the arena of sports or in life, Filipina athletes serve as a testament to the human spirit and what can be achieved with hard work and determination.

Barely past the first month of 2023, women athletes are already making plenty of moves—setting the tone for an exciting year ahead. Here are some of the memorable moments from the past few weeks.

1. Julie Uychiat becomes first Filipina to complete the World Marathon Challenge

One marathon is hard enough, but 7 marathons in 7 days? That’s what 49-year-old Julie Uychiat achieved when she completed the World Marathon Challenge, where competitors run 7 marathons, each in a different country, over 1 week. And on top of that, she won 4 out of the 7 races!

Uychiat was born in Negros Occidental and moved to the United States at 20 years old. She discovered running in her 40s and through hard work and discipline, transformed herself into a world-class marathon runner. Uychiat runs to raise awareness and funds for Kalipay Negrense Foundation, which supports abused and abandoned children in Negros Province.

2. Filipinas sign four-year deal with adidas

It’s official—the Filipinas will wear adidas kits in their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut this July in Auckland, New Zealand.

“I think we’ve come full circle, at least for me personally because my first shoes were adidas and it’s always been my dream to represent adidas and the country,” said Inna Palacios on the national team’s Instagram account. Fellow veteran Hali Long added: “I think having such a worldwide brand is a really big honor and badge of respect that is very deserved of the team because we’ve worked hard to represent Philippine women’s football, and we’re now here to represent adidas as well.”

“From wearing unbranded, sometimes off-sized kits to getting excited with the ‘branded’ gear from the men’s team… ang layo na ng narating natin,” added Cam Rodriguez on her personal Instagram account. “This is a proud milestone for the country, Filipina athletes and our football community.”

3. Manila Hustle demonstrates the excitement for women’s basketball

Fans flocked to Robinsons Magnolia to watch the women battle it out at the Manila Hustle 3x3 tournament. The crowds stretched to the second floor of the mall, UAAP stars and former national team members gathered to compete, and Filipina athletes from different sports like Alyssa Valdez came to support.

The top prize was won by Lady Macbeth, bannered by young Ateneo star Kacey Dela Rosa, and Gilas Pilipinas’ Trina Guytingco, Janine Pontejos and Khate Castillo. After a successful inaugural tournament, fans are certainly looking forward to the next Manila Hustle 3x3!