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Jakarta Post

'Humanity above all': Jokowi greets Filipino surfer who saved Indonesian rival from waves

'Humanity above all': Jokowi greets Filipino surfer who saved Indonesian rival from waves President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang, South Sumatra, on July 14, 2018. (Handout/Agus Suprapto)
Sausan Atika (The Jakarta Post)
Jakarta   ●   Mon, December 9, 2019 2019-12-09 16:38 525 d50837afe27bdfc76176ae4c9c19e8de 2 SE Asia Jokowi,SEA-Games-2019,sea-games,Filipino,Indonesian,Indonesia,Philippines,surfers,Surfing Free

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has expressed appreciation for Filipino surfer Roger Casugay for the latter’s heroic act in rescuing an Indonesian rival from being swept away by big waves in a 2019 SEA Games one-on-one race during the semifinal last week.

Jokowi posted a heartfelt message for the 24-year-old man on his official Twitter account @jokowi on Monday morning.

“My appreciation to Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who gave up his chance to win the gold medal in a bid to help an Indonesian athlete who fell [into the sea] during the competition,” Jokowi wrote on Monday.

“Winning a competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but still, humanity is above all. [...] Greetings from Indonesia,” he said.

The post has received more than 16,000 likes and more than 3,900 retweets as of Monday afternoon, with many Indonesians commenting that they were thankful for and proud of Casugay.

Twitter account @onwat29 wrote in the caption: “You are a true winner. A winner of the hearts of Filipino and Indonesian people.”

On Friday, news of Casugay went viral on social media after photos of him rescuing Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat at Monaliza Point, La Union, in the northern Philippines, were posted on a Facebook account owned by Jefferson Ganuelas.

One photo showed Casugay paddling to Arip’s assistance after he noticed that the Indonesian surfer’s ankle leash had broken and he was being swept away in the middle of the competition and "being pounded by triple overhead bomb waves".

Another photo showed Casugay and Arip standing on the same surfboard while heading back to the shore.

The post went viral with more than 2,000 likes and 6,400 shares.

Casugay won the gold medal for the men’s longboard surfing competition on Sunday. (sau)