The Philippine Athletics Track and Field delegation to the 29th SEA Games yielded 5 gold, 3 silver and 10 bronze medals notwithstanding some setbacks prior and during the biennial sporting competition. This is good enough for the PATAFA who made a modest forecast of 3. After all, they surpassed their SEAG gold medal target! What is good enough for PATAFA though may not be good enough for those who have seen a steady decline in the medal output of our athletics contingent.
Here are our gold medal heroes:
- Mary Joy Tabal (marathon)
- Eric Shauwn Cray (400m hurdles)
- Aries Toledo (decathlon)
- Trenten Beram (200m and 400m)
Silver medalists include:
- Mark Harry Diones (triple jump)
- Eric Cray (100m)
- Marco Vilog (800m)
Bronze medal winners:
- Arniel Ferrera (hammer throw)
- Janry Ubas (long jump)
- Marestella Sunang (long jump)
- Mervin Guarte (1500m)
- Evalyn Palabrica (javelin throw)
- Melvin Calano (javelin throw)
- Clinton Bautista (110m hurdles)
- Archand Bagsit, Trenten Beram, Eric Cray, Anfernee Lopena (4x100m)
- Zion Rose Nelson, Kayla Richardson, Kyla Richardson, Eloiza Luzon (4x100m)
- Edgardo Alejan, Archand Bagsit, Michael del Prado, Aries Toledo (4x400m)
Setbacks Prior and During the Meet
Two potential gold contenders with athletic lineage Patrick Unso for 110 hurdles and 4×100 relay and EJ Obiena for pole vault were sidelined due to injuries. Patrick was a record setting national athlete in both his main event, the 110 hurdles, and as a member of the 4×100 relay team that reset the national record during the Hong Kong Intercity Championships. On the other hand, a freak accident that happened a day before (mind you?!!) the national team is set to go to Malaysia devastated our pole vault gold medal hopeful EJ Obiena with an ACL injury sidelining him for the rest of the year. He even trained abroad just for this!
The frenetic scheduling of Eric Cray’s 100m sprint and 400m hurdles events put him at a great disadvantage and, eventually, unable to defend his title in the 100m sprint. Call it misfortune but it seems like a well laid plan by the Malaysian sports commission to pave their young prodigy Jantan the smooth road to the gold medal finish in the 100m. The brutal effect of running two preliminary races and two final races in a span of 6 hours is evident in Eric’s face as he gave it his all touching the line behind the Malaysian sprinter.
Trenten Beran, the double gold medalist (200m and 400m), was given the outermost lane in his final 400m run. This did nothing though to his field-shattering performance that showed that he is a class above the rest.
Despite the setbacks encountered by the Philippine Athletics contingent, a total of 4 national records were shattered during the meet. They are:
- Decathlon courtesy of Aries Toledo
- Men’s 200m by Trenten Beram
- Men’s 4x100m composed of Archand Bagsit, Trenten Beram, Eric Cray, and Anfernee Lopena
- Women’s 4x100m made up of Zion Rose Nelson, Kayla Richardson, Kyla Richardson, and Eloiza Luzon
These are astounding testament to the Filipino spirit of never saying die and never succumbing to pressure and rising above the challenges thrown at their feet. These include the hardships that each of these athletes encountered during training given the meager support from the government for the sports development in general. Thankfully, generous sports patrons have been chipping in their share in making Philippine Athletics a more competitive delegation not only this year but in succeeding competitions like the Asian Games and the next SEA Games to be held here in our country. Worth mentioning are the:
- Ayala Corporation
- UCPB Gen
- Cherrylume Corrugated Sheets
- Soleus Philippines
- L Timestudio
- Marriott Hotel Manila
Hopefully, more private corporations will share their marketing cofer in support and development of our athletes.
Here are some pictures taken during the Victory Party held at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom given the Soleus Ph and LTime Studio.
All things considered, teamPHathletics had a passing performance in the recently concluded SEA Games. This performance resonated throughout the rest of the other sports disciplines contingent. It’s the entire government sports system that needs some jolting here; more so when we are going to host the next SEA Games. PATAFA in itself is barely successful in keeping itself afloat despite not getting enough support to produce favourable results.
Athletics chief Philip Juico made no exception when he congratulated the entire team in its successful participation.
“My own personal wish was about 7. But we had two hits. Eric Cray’s schedule was sandwiched, and then EJ Obiena was not able to compete. So we have 5 now and those two, we would’ve been right on the nose. But that’s water under the bridge. We’re happy,” Juico said. “We’ve got a number of silver medals and bronze medals and this is a good build-up to the Asian Games and the SEA Games in Manila.”
The Philippines finished 5th place overall in athletics behind Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively. Hopefully in 10 years’ time, we will be top three. Hopefully!