Vilog wins, but passes up sure SEAG berth
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—Middle-distance runner Marco Vilog would rather have a diploma than a medal in the Southeast Asian Games.
Vilog opted to pass up a possible stint with the national team in the coming Singapore Games despite topping the men’s 800 meters in one minute and 51.60 seconds to keep his athletic scholarship intact at Lyceum Batangas.
The 20-year-old from Occidental Mindoro nosed out Wenlie Maulas of Philippine Airforce (1:51.91) and SEAG veteran Maniam Kesavan of Malaysia (1:51.98) in one of yesterday’s highlights of the 2015 Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championship at Laguna Sports Complex here.
Vilog’s clocking was good for a bronze medal in the 2013 Games in Burma (Myanmar). He could have joined fellow Mindoro runner Melvin Guarte, silver medalist in Burma, as entries in the 800m.
“I saw the potential in Marco. But he cannot compete in Singapore because the school might remove his scholarship,” said personal trainer and coach Ernie Candelario.
A third year business management student, Vilog had to rush from Batangas City to race in the heats and finals of his event and then went back to take his final exams.
Jessica Lyn Barnard also grabbed the spotlight on a cloudy day with a clear victory in the women’s 3000m steeplechase but the Filipino-American was visibly dissatisfied with his winning time of 11:34.45.
“I didn’t meet my target of under 10 minutes. I’m really shooting for the Olympics next Summer, so in order to do that, I have to meet the (9:44) A-standard,” said Barnard, bronze medalist in the same event in Burma.
In the men’s triple jump, siblings Mark Harry Diones and Melbert Diones of Jose Rizal University bagged the gold and silver to strengthen their bid for the SEAG set June 5 to 16.
The younger Mark Harry registered 15.84m while Melbert jumped 15.34.
Kenny Gonzales proved his worth by frustrating former SEAG champion Danilo Fresnido in men’s javelin. Gonzales hurled the spear farthest at 62.96m with Fresnido taking the silver (60.82) and Melvin Calano placing third (58.92).
Hurdler Francis Medina of Leyte Sports Academy shattered his own junior record with a 14.23-second performance in the boys’ 110m hurdles.
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