SEA Games: Rene Herrera defends steeplechase crown as athletics gets going
PALEMBANG, Indonesia—Rene Herrera defends his 3,000-meter steeplechase title while seven of his teammates also see action Friday as centerpiece athletics gets under way in the 26th Southeast Asian Games at the Jakabaring Sports Center here.
Long jumpers Henry Dagmil and Benigno Marayag, hammer thrower Rosalie Sermona, steeplechaser Hernanie Sore and shot put thrower Eliezer Sunang will likewise gun for medals as the Filipinos try to remain the country’s biggest medal contributor in the Games.
Julius Nierras and Archard Christian Bagsit will compete in the men’s 400m heats.
Aside from Herrera, the country won six other golds in Laos two years ago through Arniel Fereira (hammer throw), Rosie Villarito (women’s javelin throw), Eduardo Buenavista (men’s marathon), Jho-an Banayag (women’s marathon), Marestella Torres (long jump) and Danilo Fresnido (men’s javelin).
This time, Patafa head Go Teng Kok has set a modest target of six golds, possibly through Herrera, Torres, Buenavista, Fereira, Fresnido and Villarito.
Herrera also topped his event in the 2007 Games held in Nakhon Ratchisima, Thailand.
During a recent meeting with athletes, Go exhorted his wards to do their best. He said he would not set foot at the Patafa offices at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex again if his wards fail to win more than four golds.
Go is also pinning his hopes on Junrey Bano in the 400m hurdles and the 4x100m relay team of Bano, Bagsit, Edgardo Alejan and Julius Nierras.
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