Test event to gauge PH tracksters’ progress ahead of SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Track and Field Association will host a test event that will pit the national tracksters against athletes from Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
A month before the start of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the Filipino tracksters will compete against their Asian neighbors in the 20,000-seater New Clark City Athletics’ stadium on Oct. 26 and 27.
“During the test games, I expect our athletes to be smart enough to get a good feel of their opponents’ real worth and how much more they have to do during the actual SEA Games,” said Patafa president Philip Juico.
Of the 48 athletics events in the SEA Games, 24 will be played in the test competition with 15 participants to mimic a similar atmosphere to that of the regional games.
This is also to prepare the Philippines in achieving its goal of taking 13 gold medals in athletics.
“I used the word ‘aspiring’ and not ‘targeting’ because it is what we have inculcated in our athletes’ minds from the time we formed the national training pool and the moment they started training,” said Juico.
Leading the Philippine contingent is pole-vaulter Ernest John Obiena who became the country’s first qualifier to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after his gold medal winning 5.81-meter leap in Chiarri, Italy last Sept. 3.
Expectations are also high for Filipino-American sprinters Kristina Knott and Zion Corrales-Nelson while
Eric Cray and Anfernee Lopena headline the men sprinters with the two competing in the 100-meter dash.
Alongside Lopena and Cray are Michael del Prado and Jayme Sequito (400-meter), Carter Lilly and Marco Vilog (800-meter) Mariano Masano and Said Guermali (1500-meter), Clinton Bautista and Alvin Vergel (100-meter hurdles), and Francis Medina (400-meter hurdles).
Joining Knotts and Corrales-Nelson in the women’s division are Kayla Richardson (400-meter), Marisol Amargo (800-meter), Melissa Escoton and Jely Paraguile (100-meter hurdles), Robyn Brown and Bernalyn Bejoy (400-meter hurdles), and Joida Gagnao (3000-meter steeplechase).
Alyanna Nicolas and Natalie Uy will compete in the women’s pole-vaulting event.
Nelson, Knott, Kayla and Kyla Richardson, Eloisa Luzon, and Escoton are in the 100-meter relay team, while Jesse Lumapas and Maureen Schrijvers are part of the 400-meter relay squad.
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