Rising heptathlon star Alexie Caimoso out to prove mettle in first SEA Games stint
MANILA, Philippines — Alexie Caimoso is ready to introduce herself as a ‘limitless’ young heptathlete in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After tallying a new lifetime record of 5,032 points this year — near the 5,101 points that reigning gold medalist Sarah Dequinan accumulated, the 21–year-old is determined to make waves in her first SEA Games stint.
“I’m both excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because I always wanted to compete in the SEA Games and now that I’m given a chance to compete. I’m wanting to give 110 percent or more than that,” Caimoso told Inquirer Sports. “I’m just really hoping that I could do good and perform good and probably bring on pride to our country.”
The Filipino-American displayed her vast-development in all seven heptathlon disciplines in the February trials held in Baguio City, where she 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.
But simply realizing her dream to compete in SEA Games isn’t enough for Caimoso who seeks to achieve more in her first-ever biennial meet next week.
“It’s always been a childhood dream for me so I started at a young age and at the same time I always want to prove to myself that I could do more, I could do better. Not putting a limit whatever it is,” Caimoso said. “Just be limitless and hopefully you get to where you wanted to be or far from that.”
The National University stalwart believes her idol and compatriot Dequinan and heptathletes from Vietnam and Malaysia remain as favorites in the event.
Even she upset the reigning gold medalist twice last December’s Philippine Open and in the national trials for the Hanoi Games, Caimoso is still bringing the lessons she learned from Dequinan.
“I’m excited to compete with Ate Sarah. She’s one of the people that I look up to especially In the event that I’m playing. I have high respect for her and what she does,” she said. “If we have competition on track, we see each other and we’re good, we talk. Somehow she tells me things that I can apply to myself during the competition like stay focused and be confident in yourself and in your training.”
Caimoso may be not as experienced as the other competing heptathletes but she hopes her perseverance and commitment in her training with coach Sean Guevarra will pay off.
“Even it’s tiring, exhausting and there are days you don’t have the motivation to do it. Just keep on showing up, doing it and follow the program. Coach is always there to train us. We just enjoy the process,” Caimoso said. “The only thing I can assure is I try to give my best shot whatever will be the outcome. Hopefully it is gonna be a good one.”
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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