Torres falls 10cm shy of Rio norm
SLOWLY but surely, Marestella Torres is regaining the form that made her Southeast Asia’s long jump queen.
The 35-year-old Torres posted her best leap since giving birth to her first born two years ago as she made 6.60 meters in her fifth attempt in the finals of the 2016 Ayala-Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships Thursday at Philsports track and field arena in Pasig.
The national team standout fell a mere 10 centimeters short of the Olympic qualifying standard in winning one of the 20 gold medals at stake on the opening day of the competition that lured 1,000 athletes from seven countries.
“This is a good start,” said Torres. “I’ll prepare harder in the next competition.”
She gets the chance to go for the Olympic standard of 6.70 meters in the Singapore Open in the last week of April.
Torres bested Malaysian rivals Noor Shahidurin Nadia Mohd Zooki, 20, who posted 6.29m for the silver medal, and Kirthana Ramamasamy (5.80m) in the trackfest presented by Ayala Corp., and backed by Milo Nutri-up, Philippine Sports Commission, Foton Philippines, PCSO, Summit Natural Drinking Water, Appeton, Asics Watch, and L TimeStudio.
Reigning UAAP champion Angel Cariño cleared 5.62m for the girls’ long jump gold with Alyssa Andrade and Mary Diesto taking the silver and bronze, respectively, with 5.38 and 5.36 efforts.
Army standout Richard Salano overtook former collegiate rival Rafael Poliquit in the last 300 meters to grab the men’s 5,000-meter gold in 15 minutes 32.2 seconds. Poliquit was second, 1.1 seconds behind.
Other gold medalists: Boys’ 5,000—Fernando Reyes (17:08.1); Women’s 3,000 steeplechase—Joida Gagnao (11:53.7); Girls’ steeplechase—Joneza Mie Sustituedo (12:34.3); Boys’ pole vault—Francis Edward Obiena (4.0m); Girls’ discus throw—Aira Teodosio (37.25m).
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