A heptathlon star emerges
The Philippines has an emerging heptathlon talent who can tighten the country’s stranglehold on the event in the Southeast Asian Games.
In fact, Caimoso has already been beating Dequinan lately. Caimoso pulled the rug from under Dequinan during last December’s Philippine Open. And just recently, the National University standout repeated over the SEA Games champ in the national trials for the Hanoi Games.
“She has a lot of potential, and we are very happy over her improvements,” said national coach and former national team stalwart Sean Guevarra.
Guevarra, who guided Aries Toledo to the 2019 SEA Games decathlon gold, said Caimoso represents the future of Philippine heptathlon which peaked during the time of legendary Elma Muros—owner of two SEA Games golds (1997 and 2001).
“We discovered her in the Palaro; her event was high jump but I told her coach then to help her improve on other events so she will be ready for national selection,” said Guevarra. “Then she started getting better in hurdles and the long jump and so on.”
True enough, Caimoso improved on each of the heptathlon disciplines, posting her personal best in all seven of them in ruling the trials held in Baguio City over the weekend.
Caimoso, a Filipino-American who used to join beauty pageants, ran two minutes and 32.02 seconds in the 800-meter race, 25.85 seconds in 200m, and 15.16 seconds in 100m hurdles. She also posted 5.64m in long jump and 1.68m high jump while throwing 37.36m in javelin and 10.23m in shot put.
Her new lifetime record of 5,032 points is very near the 5,101 points that Dequinan accumulated in winning the SEA Games last 2019. It was also a vast improvement from her 4,734 points during the PH Open two months ago.
But there are many factors to consider between now and the May staging of the biennial in Vietnam and Guevarra said they are managing their expectations for the meantime.
“Hardwork and discipline that is the key for us,” said Guevarra. “We have our motto that is to be better than what we did yesterday.”
And that’s exactly what Caimoso is doing.