MANILA: The 2019 SEA Games have propelled several athletic heroes to the forefront, owing to their performances on the field and off it. Undoubtedly one of the most incredible moments in the history of the competition, one Philippines surfer gave away a sure-shot gold to save his competition from drowning.
Filipino surfer Roger Casugay opted to rescue his Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat and set aside the chance to win the gold medal for the surfing competition.
And due to that great feat, Casugay will always be hailed as a hero in the entirety of South-East Asia but not because he won a gold medal or broke a certain record. Rather, the Filippino surfer gave away the chance to win one, as he stopped to save his Indonesian competitor, Arhip Nurhidayat from drowning.
In a 2019 SEA Games Facebook posting on Friday, it featured Netizen Jefferson Ganuelas’ photo of Casugay’s heroic deed during the surfing competition at the 30th South-East Asian (SEA) Games in La Union.
Ganuelas said Nurhidayat’s leash was detached from the surfboard during the competition. Casugay then came to the rescue after observing that his opponent was getting hit by big waves. After saving Nurhidayat's life, both the surfers then shared a single surfboard as they rode to the beach to safety.
“The #seagames2019 surfing is on hold. Indonesian longboard sensation @mencosss broke his leash and swept away and being pounded by triple overhead bomb waves at monaliza pt. Local surfer @roger_casugay rescued him not minding the ongoing race for gold medal, ” read the caption.
As of posting, the official Facebook page for the 2019 SEA Games announced that the surfing competition was postponed until further notice.
The pair was uploaded on their return and Arhip held up Roger’s hand, declaring him a ‘champion’.
Surfing has been one of the worst-hit sports at the 2019 SEA Games due to typhoon Kammuri. The event has been delayed thrice already due to bad weather, with the organisers prioritising athletes and spectator safety over everything else. - The Philippines Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network