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    Filipina fencing official Maria Leonor “Marilee” Estampador was recently given the Continental Award for Asia in the International Olympic Committee Women and Sports Awards, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    The IOC Women and Sports Awards recognize the outstanding achievement and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls in sports.

    Estampador, the first female national fencing coach in the Philippines, championed by providing broader opportunities for women in both administrative and technical responsibilities within the sport.

    Estampador was a gold medalist for the Philippines in the 1993 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. She is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Fencing Confederation of Asia and Manager of the Philippine Fencing Association. She is also a highly experienced and respected DT in Asia being the first Asian Woman to have been assigned as DT Member for Fencing in the Olympic Games.

    The event was attended by IOC President, Thomas Bach, international Sports leaders, members of the diplomatic community, and supporters of sports. President Bach was happy that a fencer was among the winners since other winners were involved mostly in football.

    Other winners were Felicite Rewemarika of Rwanda, USA's Dr. Caroe Oglesby, Majken Maria Gilmartin of Denmark and Moya Dodd of Australia. Ethiopian sports journalist Dagim Zinabu Tekle made history as the first male recipient of the world trophy.