PH ninjas look to stamp class as obstacle race returns in Cambodia SEA Games | Inquirer Sports

PH ninjas look to stamp class as obstacle race returns in Cambodia SEA Games

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 08:13 PM September 05, 2022
PH SEA Games Obstacle course

FILE – (L-R) Sherwin Managil, Glorien Merisco, Sandi Abahan and Mervin Guarte of the Philippines show off their silver and gold medals after their win at the SouthEast Asian Games men’s and women’s 5k x 20 obstacle course held at the Filinvest Alabang, south of Manila on December 6, 2019 (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines-Mark Julius Rodelas and Kaizen dela Serna have established a Guinness World Record in the 100-meter male and female obstacle course racing early this year, but it doesn’t mean their spots have already been sealed in the national team for the Southeast Asian Games.

Left out during the previous SEAG in Vietnam, OCR is making a comeback in the Games set in Cambodia barely eight months from now.

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These Filipino ninjas are extremely good at this physically-demanding sport after sweeping all six gold medals in the Manila edition back in 2019.

“Our athletes will go through a series of time trials for the SEA Games. There’s no excuse for them not to excel,” said lawyer Alberto Agra, president of the Philippine Obstacle Sports Federation.

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Rodelas clocked 27.12 seconds in the 100m race held in April and Dela Serna timed 39.42 seconds, giving American World Guinness Book of Records adjudicator Justin Patterson enough justification to hand over their certificates of recognition.

Rodelas and Dela Serna both surpassed the previous world records of Kevin Pascua (29.20) and Rochelle Suarez (49.70) established during the 2019 SEA Games at a course held at Filinvest City in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

“We missed (the) Vietnam (SEA Games), but we are very active and have obstacle racing events twice a month. Our athletes are excited for Cambodia,” said Agra, who was able to push his sport as part of the Batang Pinoy Games in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur on December 4-10.

OCR will be introduced as a demo sport in the BP Games where the best young athletes 15 years old and below in the country see action in 17 sports.

According to Agra, the POSF will donate an obstacle box with eight obstacles and four exercise stations to be utilized by the PSC in Vigan.

“Obstacle sport racing is for all. We even have participants as young as 4-5 years old and we’re confident that more will be discovered in the Batang Pinoy,” said Agra.

Over 3,000 Filipino obstacle racers regularly participate in the series of local races organized by the POSF, a big pool of athletes where the finest could fetch medals and world records for Team Philippines in international courses.

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