Chilly weather dooms Torres’ campaignBy Ted S. Melendres
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LONDON—Sobbing on the shoulder of swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi at the Athletes Village here, Marestella Torres tried to speak but bit her lips instead.
The usually bubbly Torres was ruing her failure to make the long jump semifinals at the London Olympics here Tuesday night despite the shorter qualification standard set by her sport.
An eternity passed before she got the will to speak again, thanks to comforting words from Alkhaldi, herself an also-ran in these Games after getting overwhelmed in the women’s 100-meter freestyle last week.
“I really feel bad,” she said in Filipino. “It’s so disappointing. I know I’m much better now than in Beijing.”
Armed with a bigger fighting heart and a series of excellent jumps in the run-up to London 2012, Torres was gunning to make the semifinals after bombing out in the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
But the chilly weather Tuesday night made her muscles stiff and she felt it right after posting a 5.98-meter first leap.
“I couldn’t do what I wanted to do out there,” she told coach Joseph Sy. “I felt there was something wrong with my muscles.”
Still, the 31-year-old Torres said her result in these Olympics will not make her think of hanging up her spikes in the near future.
She said she would still campaign internationally for her country in the absence of a better successor. “I will still do it,” she said. “I owe my sport a lot. As long as I stay unbeatable back home, I’ll be glad to represent the country.”