Go Teng Kok targets six golds in SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—Athletics chief Go Teng Kok has promised to deliver six gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games, a prediction based on a roster that includes SEA Games champions Marestella Torres (long jump), Eduardo Buenavista (marathon) and Arniel Ferreira (hammer throw).
Also among those the controversial chief is counting on to win golds are Rene Herrera (steeplechase) and javelin throwers Danilo Fresnido and Rosie Villarito.
They were all part of the seven-man gold medal track and field squad in the 2009 Laos SEA Games.
The outspoken head of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association boasted that these six bets could provide another gold rush for athletics since their timess and records remain tops in the region to this day.
Go, however, explained that his association has been going through a transition period after some of Patafa’s medal reliables recently retired.
“But we have young talents right now which we hope could perform well in the next SEA Games,” said Go Tuesday in the PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Avenue in Manila.
Hurdles specialist Junrey Bano (400-meter hurdles) and the 4x400m relay team of Bano, Christian Bagsit, Edgardo Alejan and Julius Nierras are part of the Patafa developmental pool who are all tipped to excel in future meets.
Go also took a swipe at the Philippine Olympic Committee during the program sponsored by Smart, Pagcor, Outlast Battery and Shakey’s for its effort to discredit him instead of focusing on the athletes set to compete in the SEA Games in Indonesia on Nov. 11 to 22.
“I think the POC should think about how to protect our athletes in the SEA Games, on how to improve on our last campaign,” said Go, who had a bitter fallout with POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. last year. “Problem is, they’re more interested in ousting me.”
Go also mentioned long jump specialist Henry Dagmil and defending women’s marathon champion Jho-An Banayag as possible gold-medal contenders this year.
But Banayag faces a huge hurdle in Indonesian long-distance runner Triyaningsih, gold medalist in the 5,000m and 10,000m two years ago who will try her luck in marathon.
Triyaningsih, dubbed “superwoman” for her Herculean efforts, clocked two hours and 31 minutes during the marathon event of the Guangzhou Asian Games last year, far better than Banayag’s gold-winning time of two hours and 46 minutes.
“But I don’t believe she (Triyaningsih) could get it. Imagine, three events of long-distance running in a week’s time,” said Go.
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