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Multi Gold medal winning shooter Tac Padilla still dreams of Olympics


PhilBoxing.com


Thirty four years ago in 1976 at a very tender age of 12, Filipino marksman Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla had already crowned himself the world junior champion in his favorite – rapid fire, center fire and standard pistol events – in the Benito Juarez World Shooting Championships held Mexico City.

From there, the now 46-year-old son of two-time Olympian Tom Ong have been bringing honors not only to himself but the country and the Filipino as well by stashing away with no less than five gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games since 1977, nine Southeast Asian Shooting championships and more than a dozen silver and bronze medals more in other Asian and continental competitions.


Barely a month ago, Padilla, general manager of Malabon Soap and Oil Industrial Co. and president of the Multi Oil Manufacturing Corp. and MSO Premiums Oil Corp., ended a personal 16-year gold medal draught in the SEA Games when he topped the rapid fire event in Laos.

You know, I shouldn’t be asking for more in my life as a shooter. I have sort of etched my name in the history of the SEA Games where I saw action continuosly from 1977 when I was only 13. Pero may kaisa-isa lang akong kahilingan na hindi ko pa natutupad hanggang ngayon. Ang makalaro sa Olympic Games,” Padilla said during Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.
Saying he might be running out of time, not because of his age but because of spending more time attending to family business, Padilla said during the forum, sponsored by ACCEL, that he will be giving more time in his training to attain his long-time dream two years from now in London.

“Mabuti pa nga si Papa (Tom Ong) nakadalawang Olympics, ako wala pa ni isa ganung mas maaga akong nagsimulang pumutok.Baka nga maunahan pa akong maging Olympian ng mga estudyante ko,” he said in reference to his talented products in the shooting association’s national youth development program of which he is the chairman.

This includes daughter Micahela, 18 the youngest of his two siblings with wife Paola (nee Montelibano), who was also a member of the national team to last year’s SEA Games. Her eldest Michelle Patricia also tried shooting but quit due to pressure.

“Of course, I won’t be neglecting my job. That is where we get our means of livelihood. Pero time management lang naman yan. I’m sure mapagsasabay natin yun. Konting sakripisyo pa siguro,” the team owner the Spring Cooking Oil basketball team and president of the National Basketball Conference, said.
“It’s really hard to make it to the Olympics now because not only you have to survive the qualifying tournaments, you also have to earn points in several other competitions to maintain your ranking like the very tough World Cup and the World Championships,” Padilla said.

“Meaning you really have to compete in as many overseas competitions as needed besides, you know, spending money for guns and ammo,” Padilla said, “Mahal kasi itong sport na ito kaya besides the help of the Philippine Sports Commission, kailangan pa rin gumasta ka ng sarili mong pera.”
Padilla, member of the board of trustees of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the board of regents of the City of Malabon University, disclosed that to make it to the 2012 London Games, he will be trying his luck in the coming world Cup of Shooting set this April in Beijing and the World Shooting Championships in Munich in July.

Padilla expressed gratitude to his wife and children and dad Tom for the all-out support they have been extending him in his quest for honors in the sport he’s been involved since learning how to handle a pistol at age nine.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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