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Mariano ‘Tom’ Ong, who represented the Philippines in shooting competitions in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, passed away early yesterday morning. He was 78.
Ong, father of bemedalled shooter Nathaniel ‘Tac’ Padilla, first suited up in the 1972 Munich Games, one of eight Filipino bets entered in the sport and competed in the 50m pistol.
The seven other shooters include Art Macapagal, Rafael Recto, Teodoro Kalaw, Ludovico Espinosa, Manuel Valdez, Melchor Yap and Raymundo Quitoriano.
The Philippines sent 53 athletes in Munich in 11 sports, including a 12-man basketball team.
Ong was again named to the Philippine delegation to the 1976 edition in Montreal and would reunite with Macapagal as thew country dispatched just 14 athletes.
The Malabon-born Ong, one of the country’s major distributors of cooking oil, celebrated his birthday last October.
Ong would continue to bring honors to the country until Tac started to make a name for himself in rapid fire.
“That’s the time Tom began to give way,” said long-time sports scribe and current People’s Journal publisher Gus Villanueva, who covered the Montreal Olympics.