Diones resets PH mark, beats SEAG champ | Inquirer Sports

Diones resets PH mark, beats SEAG champ

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:56 PM April 01, 2017

New Philippine record in men's triple jump by Harry Diones (left). Photo by June Navarro

New Philippine record in men’s triple jump by Harry Diones (left). Photo by June Navarro

ILAGAN CITY—-Count Mark Harry Diones as a sure-fire bet for the Philippines in the medal podium of the coming Southeast Asian Games.

The country’s premier triple-jump specialist shattered his own national record anew with a golden performance in the 2017 Ayala Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships.

But erasing the national mark wasn’t the only milestone that Diones accomplished on a cool Saturday morning at the Ilagan Sports Complex.

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His record-setting 16.70-meter jump on the sixth and last try also broke the heart of Malaysian Muhammad Hakimi Ismail, the current Southeast Asian Games champion and record-holder.

“I’m really looking at breaking the SEA Games record,’’ said Diones in Filipino. “I’m happy with the result, but I guess I have to train more to achieve it,’’ added the 24-year-old national team mainstay from Libmanan, Camarines Sur.

Ismail, who holds the 16.76m SEAG standard with a golden effort in the 2015 Singapore SEAG, faulted in his first five attempts and registered 16.06m on the final jump for the silver medal. Sanjaya Sandaruwan Jayasir of Sri Lanka placed third with 15.69m.

After landing fourth and missing the medal ceremony two years ago in Singapore, Diones is now in the conversation for the gold with the vast improvement he’s been showing the past six months.

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Back in November last year, he broke the seven-year 16.12m record of Joebert Delicano with a 16.29m leap during the weekly relay at Philsports organized by the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.

Diones will now train for three months in Perth, Australia for a golden push to the SEAG on Aug. 19-31.

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“Our main target is for Harry to jump 17 meters, so expect him to improve some more in the coming months,’’ said national coach Jojo Posadas. “No Filipino has ever gone to that mark.’’

Diones’ feat overshadowed the record-breaker of the PH men’s 4x100m relay team composed of Eric Shauwn Cray, Trenten Beram, Anfernee Lopena and Jomar Udtohan.

The quartet’s 40.29-second run for the gold eclipsed the old mark of 40.55 set by Arnold Villarube, Ralph Waldy Soguilon, Albert Salcedo and Henry Dagmil during the 2005 Manila SEAG.

Other winners on the penultimate day of competition were Cesar Castaneto (5000m run), Arniel Ferrera (hammer throw), Mary Angelie Arano (girls’ 800m), Gideon Arellano (boys’ shot put), Mariano Masano (boys’ 800m), Vincent Vianmar Dela Cruz (boys’ 5000m walk), Johnrey Magallanes (boys’ pole vault) and Lopena (men’s 100m).

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Christabel Martes secured her second gold in the women’s 5000m after winning the 10,000m run on Thursday while middle-distance runner Marco Vilog topped the men’s 800m.

TAGS: Athletics, Mark Harry Diones

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