PRIVATE sponsors, led by Ayala Corporation, is coming in to support members of the national athletics’ pool in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico said this as the PATAFA begins the process of selecting an initial list of 12 athletes, who will get support and funding in their training program of the biennial meet.
Juico added that they have an initial roster of 60 athletes, with 19 of them in the priority list and 41 in the training pool.
“Here, we will choose an initial 12 for specialized training and specialized funding coming from the private sector and Ayala Corporation,” said Juico.
SEA Games double gold medallist Eric Cray is at the top of the list, along with pole vaulter EJ Obiena, steeplechaser Christopher Ulboc, 800-meter specialists Marco Vilog and Mervin Guarte.
Olympian Marestella Torres-Sunang, who is eyeing a comeback in the SEA Games, is also a candidate with hammer thrower Caleb Stuart, sprinter Kayla Richardson, and relay specialists Edgardo Alejan and Aris Toledo.
Other candidates include steeplechaser Jessica Barnard, triple jumper Harry Diones, Patrick Unso and Trenton Beram.
Juico added that they are also keen on relay specialists Jon Caido, Ryan Bigyan and Raymund Alfero.
In the last SEAS Games, Cray and the national team brought home five gold medals.
The national team’s performances were highlighted by record-breaking feats by Cray in the 400m hurdles and Stuart in the hammer throw.