Buenavista eyes 4th national Milo marathon crown Sunday
MANILA, Philippines—Eduardo Buenavista seeks a fourth National Milo Marathon title Sunday in the 35th edition of the prestigious footrace starting and ending at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds in Pasay City.
The 33-year-old Buenavista will be looking to preserve his status as the country’s finest after a disappointing performance in the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.
But the South Cotabato native will have his hands full against a stellar field that includes a bevy of Ethiopian and Kenyan runners as well as SEA Games silver medalist Eric Panique and former national champion Cresenciano Sabal.
The 27-year-old Panique, who hails from Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, has been the man to watch in the local marathon scene the past few months, having emerged as the best Filipino finisher in the Camsur Marathon.
Bautista ruled last year’s race in two hours and 24.18 minutes. He still holds the Milo Marathon record of 2:18:53.
Among the African runners who are expected to contend are Ethiopian Mikael Tesfaye, who posted the fastest time of 1:09:31 in the 21K elimination leg in Cebu City, and Kenyan James Tallam, the winner of the 42K Manila qualifying leg last July in 2:28:40.
Flordeliza Donos will defend her women’s title against National Milo marathon queen Jho-Ann Banayag and Ethiopian Genet Agtew, who clocked 1:24:12 in the 21K qualifier.