By Gab Ferreras, contributing writer
Former 8-time national judo champion and Pilipinas Sambo Federation founder Paolo Tancontian will take over his new leadership role as the newly-installed president of the federation.
The Davao City-raised Tancontian, who created the federation in 2015, was elected as the president of the sambo's national governing body until 2025, in a virtual election held yesterday. He was the secetary general of the federation, which was given the full membership to the Philippine Olympic Comittee in 2018.
Tancontian, who has been one of the main driving force in Davao''s martial arts scene for more than 4 decades, is truly grateful for the opportunity that he was given and thanked the whole Philippine Sambo community for their all-out support in his upcoming leadership role.
"I am still overwhelmed. Imagine a young boy from the province of Davao City would climb his way to be the National Sports Association president? I am very grateful for the opportunity. Lahat ng pinaghirapan ko at tinarabaho ko my whole life blossmed abundantly. There's always something to be grateful for despite the present challenges brought by the pandemic.", Tancontian said in a statement.
He also vowed to continue the winning legacy of the national samboists which have contributed 2 golds courtesy of his son, Chino Sy Tancontian and Mark Streigl, a silver and a bronze in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and a bronze medal showing of Sydney Sy Tancontian in the World Championships last year.
In a previous interview with TOPS Usapang Sports on Air last August, Tancontian disclosed that the country's top sambists led by the Tancontian siblings and Streigl have been continously training virtually in Manila, Davao, Baguio and other provinces during the ongoing quarantine restrictions, but they are ready and prepared for face-to-face international competitions, with the forthcoming participation in the 2022 Thailand Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games as their main agenda.