Patafa taps 26 standouts from varsity competitions
Non-performing members of the national track and field team will soon be replaced by standouts from 26 athletes discovered from the collegiate ranks.
“There’s a need to bring in new athletes. Many will feel disappointed, but we have to form a strong national team,” said Renato Unso, secretary general of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, yesterday.
Aside from infusing fresh blood in the PH team that won five gold medals in the recent Singapore Southeast Asian Games, Unso said current team members who failed to bring home a medal of any color in the past two editions of the SEA Games have to be replaced.
At least 10 slots in the 48-member national squad are up for grabs for the new recruits discovered in the UAAP, NCAA, SCUAA and other provincial meets in Nueva Ecija and Bacolod City.
Unso said the association will also tackle the case of coaches whose athletes failed to deliver in previous international tournaments.
“We’ll finalize everything within the next few weeks. We’re just doing our job. No hard feelings,” said Unso, a former SEAG record-holder in the men’s 400m hurdles.
He added that five-time SEAG steeplechase champion Rene Herrera and three-time hammer throw gold medalist Arnel Ferrera have already sent feelers to serve as coach of the national team.
Led by head coach Dario De Rosas and Sean Guevarra, the contracts of the 12 Patafa coaches will end tomorrow.
“We will evaluate their performance and the performances of their athletes. We’ll decide from there,” said Unso.