Del Prado handles Brunei’s track hope
LONDON—The tiny sultanate of Brunei Darussalam could yet prove to be a force in Southeast Asian Games athletics, thanks to a former Filipino 400-meter marvel.
Isidro del Prado, formerly one of Asia’s finest athletes over the distance whose national record remains uneclipsed to this day, is in these Olympics as coach of young Bruneian ace who vied in Sunday’s 400 heats.
Haffy Rositi failed to advance to the semifinals but his time of 48.67 seconds smashed his own Bruneian national record by more than five seconds.
“Brunei has been very kind to me,” said the 53-year-old Del Prado in Filipino during a chat with a Philippine delegation official at Athletes Village here.
Del Prado is into the third year of his contract with the Bruneian athletics federation as head coach of the country’s 400 and 800m runners.
He etched his name in the annals of PH athletics when he alternated with Japan’s Susumu Takano as Asian number No. 1 in the 400 from 1982 to 1987. He lowered the 400m record to 46.40 seconds during the golden years of Project: Gintong Alay, a brainchild of the late President Marcos’ nephew Michael Keon.
Del Prado, who reached the quarterfinals of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, also anchored the feared PH 4×400 quartet that also included Honesto Larce, Leopoldo Arnillo and Romeo Gido which beat powerhouse Japan twice in the Asian championships.