Santos rules two events 15 minutes apart
DUMAGUETE CITY—Philippine athletics found a new golden girl in Katherine Santos yesterday.
Flashing a stunning figure and possessing limitless potential, the 21-year-old Santos crossed the ends of the Perdices Sports Complex to compete in the women’s triple jump and 100-meter dash that were held almost simultaneously.
And in dramatic fashion the Baguio City native and member of the national team won both events, stealing the limelight from Loralie Sermona’s record-breaking hammer throw at the POC-PSC National Games here.
Still covered in sand, an emotional Santos yelled and broke down in tears after crossing the finish line in the century dash, just some 15 minutes after nearly breaking the national mark in dominating triple jump.
“I’m overwhelmed. I have personal reasons for crying,” said Santos who clocked 12.17 seconds for the century dash gold.
She then walked back to the triple jump officials’ table asking if she can try to beat the 12.67 meters PH mark of Marestella Torres but was turned down. Instead, her 12.62m, done on her first try, stood as her official distance for the gold.
“I’m very tired I was shaking on the starting blocks,” said the 5-foot-4 Santos, a senior HRM student at the University of Baguio. She placed third in the last Southeast Asian Games behind gold medalist Torres.
Thirty-year-old Sermona, whose husband Julius was crowned 10,000m run king Monday, found the hot, windless weather much to her liking in smashing the old mark in hammer throw. She threw the ball and chain to 50.03m, improving on her own 49.79m benchmark set in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.
“I have a good training under coach Lerma Bulauitan and we really aimed to break the record,” said Sermona who married Julius two years ago.
She used to compete in shotput and discus throw but decided to concentrate on hammer throw, which is her only event here. The 2011 SEA Games bronze medalist made her record throw on her third attempt.
National athlete Narcisa Atienza also plucked easy golds in shotput and high jump in the event organized by Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, and sponsored by Smart Communications, Summit Mineral Water, Standard Insurance, TV5, AKTV, 2Go, Ayala Corp., Cebu Pacific, Accel, Pocari Sweat, Scratch It Go for Gold, SM Investments and Puregold Price Club.
Making a splash in nearby Lorenzo Teves Aquatics Center was Olympic-bound national swimmer Jessie King Lacuna who was hardly challenged in scoring 400m freestyle gold medal. He timed four minutes, 12.95 seconds, still far from his personal best of 3:59.75.
“I’m still not peaking yet, we are still loading on techniques and maybe try to peak by end of June,” said the 18-year-old Lacuna from Bulacan. He will try to make the Olympics through his own merit when he competes in the Singapore Southeast Asian Championships next month which is also a qualifying event for London.
“I have been in the Youth Olympics but this will be the real deal,” said Lacuna.
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