Asian Games: PH team resets national record to make men’s 4x400m final
HANGZHOU, China—The formidable Philippine athletics men’s 4x400m team wiped out a national record that stood for nearly four decades on Tuesday at the 19th Asian Games.
Speeding like a locomotive, the quartet of Umajesty Williams, Frederick Ramirez, Joyme Sequita and Miguel Carlo Del Prado topped their heat in 3:06.15 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on their way to the medal race.
Interestingly, the 28-year-old Del Prado helped reset his father’s own national mark in the event almost 38 years ago.
Starring track and field idol Isidro del Prado, the men’s 4x400m relay team of the Philippines in the 1985 Southeast Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand registered the record-breaker in 3:06.58.
Joining Isidro, who is now a national coach, back then were Marlon Pagalilavan, Romeo Gido and Honesto Larce.
Wednesday’s final will be a contest where the country could seize a medal after landing third overall in the qualifying heats behind India (3:03.81) and Qatar (3:05.92).
This same bunch of Filipino tracksters ruled the event in the Southeast Asian Games earlier this year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Also in contention for a medal are Thailand (3:06.96), Iraq (3:07.58), Sri Lanka (3:06.60), South Korea (3:07.10) and Bahrain (3:07.38)
The national track and field squad has delivered the first gold medal for the nation courtesy of EJ Obiena in men’s pole vault.
Hurdler John Tolentino and sprinter Kristina Knott narrowly lost their final in the men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 200m as both nearly bagged a medal.