Richardson stays on track for Rio Olympics berth | Inquirer Sports

Richardson stays on track for Rio Olympics berth

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 02:09 AM June 02, 2016

ANOTHER Filipino runner could make it to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Southeast Asian Games 100-meter dash champion Kayla Richardson came close to achieving the Olympic qualifying standard in her event and has two more international races to pull off the feat.

The Filipino-American sprinter equaled her personal best of 11.79 seconds in the century dash of a recent school competition, strengthening Richardson’s aspiration to join fellow tracksters Eric Cray (400m hurdles) Marestella Torres-Sunang (long jump) in Rio.

The 17-year-old Richardson attempts to run faster than the Olympic qualifying time of 11.70 in two races over the next two months, including the prestigious IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. in July.

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She has until July 5 to qualify along with the other Filipino Olympic hopefuls.

“We’re hoping that she’ll come up with her best performance to get to Rio,” said Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association secretary general Renato Unso.

Richardson became the first Filipino sprint queen in the SEA Games last year held in Singapore since the legendary Lydia de Vega-Mercado retired almost three decades ago.

Unso said her twin sister, Kyla, is also set to compete in the world U20 championships after recently clocking 11.85 seconds.

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Patafa president Philip Ella Juico said the universality spot awarded to Torres-Sunang was already confirmed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) even if Richardson qualifies for the Aug. 5 to 21 Summer Games.

Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal also achieved the Olympic qualifying mark in women’s marathon but has yet to get the confirmation from the IAAF and the Patafa.

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The Philippines could send as many as five track and field athletes once Tabal, Richardson and pole vaulter EJ Obiena all make the grade to Rio.

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TAGS: 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, Kayla Richardson

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