Six-time World Bowling Champion Rafael ‘Paeng’ Nepomuceno just added another piece of hardware to his vast collection of medals.
At the Asian Senior Championships yesterday, the Filipino athlete ruled in the men’s singles 65+ division, taking home the gold medal. With the victory, Nepomuceno is still proving that he is one of the all-time greats in the sport, even at 65 years old.
A Living Legend
Nepomuceno started bowling at a young age, although his first sport was golf. He first competed in a bowling tournament when he was 15 in the Philippine Junior Masters Championship—which he won. And at 17, he won the Philippine International Masters and became the youngest winner of the tournament. He later won his first Bowling World Cup title at the age of 19, again becoming the youngest tenpin bowling world champion.
Now, he is known as one of the Philippines’ most highly decorated athletes.
He has won at the World Cup of Bowling four times—a record in the Guinness Book of World Records—the Asian Championships six times, and the Southeast Asian Games nine times. In total, he has 21 gold medals from several major international tournaments.
And now, he adds one more to the list.
Nepomuceno scored a total of 1264 pinfalls, edging out Akira Nakada from Japan (1238), and Jin Headong from Korea and Leung Wai Man Raymond from Hong Kong (1223 apiece). With this, Paeng again found himself on the top step of the podium.
“I am happy to have given glory to the Philippines. I want to thank the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Bowling Federation, Inc. (PBF) and Philippine Senior Bowlers (PSB) for the support. I was so happy to hear our National Anthem again after all these years,” the Filipino champion told the Philippine News Agency.
Paeng Nepomuceno hardly needed to cement his place among the most successful athletes locally and internationally. Nevertheless, his victory at the Asian Senior Championships certainly adds fuel to the flames of his legacy.
Banner image from Philippine Bowling Federation, Inc. on Facebook.