After 7-month wait, Uy stamps mark in record-breaking style
ILAGAN CITY, ISABELA—Filipino-American Natalie Uy waited seven months before getting to compete as a Filipino. She didn’t take too long to show what she’s made of.
On a day athletes from the host province grabbed their share of the spotlight, Uy broke a long-time record on the way to the women’s pole vault gold at the start of the 2019 Ayala-Philippine Athletics Championship Wednesday afternoon at Ilagan City Sports Complex here.
The 5-foot-6 Uy logged 4.12 meters right in her first try to better an 11-year national women’s record of 4.11 meters set by Deborah Samson in 2008.
“I was a little nervous the whole week but I just had to go out and play today,” said Uy, whose father Henry hails from Cebu. “It’s incredible. I’m just really happy to come over here.”
Uy was supposed to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, but failed to process her papers on time. She got her Philippine passport in mid-August last year.
With most of the Fil-Am athletes prepping for their Thursday schedules, local bets found time to shine.
In front of her provincemates, Daniella Daynata took the gold in women’s discus throw with a 40.19-m heave. Ilagan teammates Janry Ubas and Julian Fuentes made it a one-two finish in men’s long jump.
University of the Philippines’ Ed Delina bettered his personal best to rule the men’s discus throw (44.75m). Delina’s previous best was a Palarong Pambansa record (42.67m).
“I am happy because I even beat my personal best of 44 meters. I managed my energy well now to have a farther record unlike last year,” Delina said in Filipino.
Barely two days after he pocketed the Southeast Asian Youth gold medal in pole vault, 16-year-old Hokett Delos Santos, also of Team Ilagan City, shone anew as he pocketed the boys’ gold medal with a 4.30-m leap.
“I am very happy because I won again,” Delos Santos said in Filipino.
In triple jump for women, Angel Carino, also of Ilagan City, also won gold with a leap of 11.60m.