LAKEWOOD, CA — Let the medal count begin. Philippines law enforcers are competing in Los Angeles, at the World Police and Fire Games.
The games are in full swing — and while all these athletes proudly wear a badge in their home countries, only a few will go back to their countries with medals.
While the victories were sweet, the biggest thrill came in the men’s 50 and over division.
As Psi Renato Reyes battled his Chinese Taipei opponent to a third set, eventually winning 21-to-19, 1 gold and 2 bronze.
“Thrilling? Thrilling I don’t think so, I’m just too tired haha,” he said.
After three days of intense competition on the badminton courts, the Philippine National Police badminton team is bringing home a total of 9 medals, including 4 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.
Police officer Luningning Jagmis, who took home two gold medals this year, has done the World Police Games four times. She’s now collected 9 medals.
“Masayang mag join sa world police makikasama mga ibang bansa mga police and fire fighters,” Jagmis said.
Jose Daryl Sobretodo of Philippine National Police dominated the Calgary Fire Departments’ Ryan McAvoy in the boxing ring with a unanimous decision win.
He fights again on Friday night, and victory will take the PNP officer to Saturday’s boxing finals.
“Sarap ang pakiramdam sa unang laro ko dito sa World Police and Fire games unang laro panalo na. I hope and I pray para sa bayan,” Sobretodo said.
Defending UNTV Season 5 champs, the PNP responders have started the tournament winless in their first three games.
Though undersized by their American counterparts, they’ve managed to keep games close.
After their tough game against Los Angeles Police Department, the responders even had some fun with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
“I feel grateful we’re here in LA representing the Philippines through the PNP,” said basketball player Roland Onipig. “I’m all inviting all the Filipino community to watch our game.”
They plan to finish off the weekend strong before they try their hand at the three in three tournament.
The games will continue until the 16th. Other competitions such as volleyball and unique police activities like the bi-athalon will start over the weekend — a chance for more Filipinos to book a few more medals.