10 May 2021

Former member of the ITTF Sports Science and Medical Committee, Oscar Yoshihiro Santelices, sadly passed away in the early hours of Monday 10th May. He died following a period of illness as a result of contracting Covid-19.

Born on Saturday 16th September 1961, he was 59 years old.

by Ian Marshall

Always known as “Oskie”, he played table tennis for the University of Santo Tomas during his time as a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Later, he worked for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, where he coached table tennis and became the Offices’ Director, a role he fulfilled for a period of six years.

Impressively, in 1976 he led the university to the women’s national team title, the outfit significantly overcoming the hitherto unbeaten De La Salle University. A notable member of the team was Ian Lariba who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, sadly dying of cancer in September 2018.

As a member of University of Philippines, he very much promoted international co-operation and searched for opportunities to invite table tennis experts and scientists to his country. Sharing the knowledge was for him always a top priority.

Working alongside foreign universities, scientists, coaches and especially with leading players, meant for him the highest standards in table tennis development in his country.

A great passion was also “Liha” – a table tennis game with “sandpaper rackets”, very popular in Philippines. In conjunction with the late Peter Cua, Oskie promoted the game all over the world, inviting coaches to experience play in their backyard.

Promoting the game of “Liha” across the globe, Oskie’s contribution to the sport’s evolution was second to none

Oskie is survived by his wife Gwen and two sons, Jolo and Nigel. He will be sadly missed among the global table tennis family.

General News Oscar Yoshihiro Santelices