Fortunato Catalon the Greatest of 1920s Filipino Sprinters

During the early dawn of Filipino Sports, emerged as our first great sprint champion Fortunato Catalon.


Early Beginnings

Fortunato was born on October 14, 1897, in the town of Tolosa, Leyte. He hailed from a farming family from the interior of the island of Leyte. His father was Juanzo Catalon, and his mother was Petrona Pelino.

He took up baseball Catalon was getting around bases quickly and noticed. 

And he began to train as a sprinter. A short man, his advantage over his rivals was that he was a quick starter at a time when the sprinting technique was less defined.

Fortunato —like most of his national peers—used to raise his arms in the air and push his chest forwards when crossing the finish line.  As opposed to the lean-in technique, which later became common.

He failed in his first attempt to make his Tacloban school track team at Leyte high school during the Eastern Visayas athletic meet held in Cebu Province. 

To cover his expenses, Fortunato worked as a cook’s helper in the kitchen. 

Catalon was a high school student from the age of 18-22, according to news sources. He obtained his college Diploma at UST.

The little Filipino continued his training. And the next year made the district team in the inter-district meet; he was performing well here. He so earned a second chance to make the provincial team.

 This time he did not disappoint his coach, winning the 100 and 220-yard events.

Fortunato Catalon
Fortunato Catalon (Keystone) : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]

Fortunato Catalon

The Far East Asian Champion

The Little Man, known as ‘The King of Filipino Sprinters’, represents what was then known as ‘The Philippine Islands.’ Catalon would win the 100 Yard Title at the Far Eastern Games.

His first age was the age of 19—four times from 1917 until 1923.

In 1925 the 100 yards (91m) became the 100 meters, and even with the longer distance, he won that as well in 1925.  

In 1923 Fortunato was the sixth-fastest man globally, over 100 yards (91m) in 9.8s.

Catalon was described by the great American sprinter and 1920 Olympic Champion Charlie Paddock while visiting the Philippines as “The Champion of Champions.”

Fortunato did not get permanent recognition as a sprinter until 1917.

At the Far East Asian Games in the 100 yards, Fortunato Catalon won his heat in 10.2.

Defending champion Nicolas Llaneta also of the Philippines, was the fastest qualifier in 10.0.

In the final, no wind assistance was present.

And on May 9, Catalon took the first of the twelve gold medals (9 individual and 3 relays). Catalon also took 220 yards in 23.8.

In 1919 (13 May), Fortunato Catalon won his heat in 10.2.

However, Madono of Japan was the fastest qualifier in 10.0.

Between the heats and the final of this event, Madono beat Catalon in the preliminaries of the 220-yard dash.

It was clear that the Filipino would be hard-pressed to retain his title. However, he overcame these nerves to equal the game’s record at 10.0.

Catalon retained his title in the 220 yards, despite Madono of Japan being the fastest in the heats in a Games Record of 22.8. Catalon won 23.0.

Fortunato Catalon
Fortunato Catalon

Fortunato Catalon


In 1921 (31 May), Catalon retained his 100-yard title easily to equal the game’s record in 10.0.

Kaga of  Japan, who had competed at the Antwerp Olympics, was the favourite and faded to third. 

Catalon defended his 220-yard title with 23.2.

Fortunato Catalon


In 1923 (22 May), Catalon and Tani of Japan won their heats, both in 10.4.

In the final, Catalon and Tani were the slowest.

But by the halfway mark, the stocky Filipino had drawn a yard clear of the field.

Catalon increased his lead to a clear yard at the tape.

Takagi finished ahead of Omura and Tani, his fellow Japanese. Tajima finished a distant fifth.

Several unofficial timekeepers claimed that Catalon should have been credited with at least 10.0.

And two spectators stopped their watches at 9.6.

While his winning time this year was 10.4.

The track was also apparently, according to reports, heavy and muddy and slow.

Catalon and Omura of Japan were the fastest qualifiers in the 220-yard heats, both with 22.6.

The event was much faster than in 1921, with silver medalist Castillon (PHI) eliminated.

Omura was thought by the Japanese to be the one to beat Catalon.

But it was his countryman Takagi, who closed rapidly on the defending champion in the closing stages, who provided the most serious threat.

Fortunato succeeded in holding off the challenge of winning in 22.2 and reached the tape with a yard to spare.

The soft track is said to have nullified the advantage of the following wind.

Fortunato Catalon
Prince Chichibu congratulated Fortunato Catalon at the 1923 Far East Asian Games (Photo Supplied by Ron Casey, President of the International Society for Japanese Philately (ISJP).

Fortunato Catalon


In 1925 the metric 100m replaced the 100 yards (91m). This was also the last appearance of 4-time champion Catalon who was now 28 years old.

Catalon won his heat in 11.0, but new Filipino athlete David Nepomuceno emerged to take the fastest qualifier in 10.8.

Times in the semi-final were slower, with Rivera (PHI) 11.5 and Nepomuceno (PHI) 11.1, respectively.

Catalon, who had finished third in the second semi-final in a closely fought final, triumphed for the fifth consecutive time.

However, photographic evidence suggests that he was fortunate to be given the verdict over Nepomuceno.

In the 200m, Nepomuceno ended the streak of Catalon winning in 22.5, with Catalon taking silver.

Fortunato Catalon

Life after the Far East Asian Games

A run of 9.8 seconds in March 1923 ranked him sixth in the world rankings for the 100-yard dash that year. 

Upon meeting him while touring the Philippines. World record holder Charley Paddock of the United States called Catalon a “champion of champions.” 

News of his near-world record runs spread to Western media through Fred England and Elwood Brown – the Americans who led the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association.

His feats encouraged interest in the country of sending a Philippines team.

For the first time for the 1924 Paris Olympics, In the end, it was another sprinter, his rival David Nepomuceno, that became the first Filipino to compete at the Olympics.

Nepomuceno composed the entire one-man 1924 Filipino squad. In addition, Catalon entered for the men’s Olympic 100 meters and 200 meters.

Being drawn alongside America’s Paddock in the former but did not attend the games or start in those events.

His teammate Nepomuceno finally broke his unbeaten regional status at the 1925 Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila.

While Catalon won a fifth straight title in the 100 meters, Nepomuceno won over Catalon in the 200 meters.

This brought Catalon’s tally of individual medals at the competition to nine – a record in the athletics section by a margin of two (over Mikio Oda’s seven eventual titles).

Sports Official

Catalon married Elisa Remandaban on 15 September 1924.

His two daughters Jovita Remandaban Catalon Myan Acala, & Gloria Remandaban Catalon (1928-, also got their degrees from UST.

Catalon served as a coach in the 1930s of UP in both Men’s Track and Field and Men’s Basketball.

He was also a national coach.

And following his retirement, he became an official in the sport, acting as a race starter.

His first major event in this role was at the 1934 Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila.

Where his compatriot Rafael de Leon became the last ever Far Eastern 100 meters champion.

He was the starter for the 100 m final for the 1954 Asian Games, also held in Manila. 

And his lenient starting approach favoured Genaro Cabrera – the Filipino silver medalist. 

Fortunato studied into his twenties and eventually received a college diploma from Santo Tomas in Manila.

He had a family, including two daughters – Gloria and Jovita.

Fortunato Died July 2, 1977, in Tolosa at age 79. He was inducted into the PSC Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit:


Glico Man

If you already visited Dotonbori in Osaka, you probably have photos of the Glico Running Man. However

Did you know? The iconic running man character is modelled after a Pinoy sprinter named Fortunato Catalon.

Fortunato Catalon Fortunato Catalon Fortunato Catalon Fortunato Catalon


  1. The Border Cities Star, July 23, 1923
  2. A Handbook of Far Eastern & Asian Games Track & Field Athletics, Ian Buchanan ATFS 1973 (kindly provided by Mr Jad Adrian Washif ATFS Malaysia & SEA Athletics)
  3. Ms Myan Catalon Acala (granddaughter of Mr Fortunato Catalon)


Like our Facebook Page


xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

3 thoughts on “Fortunato Catalon the Greatest of 1920s Filipino Sprinters”

Comments are closed.