THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association successfully staged recently its first of two phases of performance tryouts at the Philsports track oval for members of the national athletics team vying for slots in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games from August 19 to 30.
Heading the aspirants who registered new personal bests is hurdler Patrick Unso who topped the 110m Hurdles with a season’s best 14.27s.
Unso, incidentally, completed a double victory by eclipsing his fellow team members in the 100m with a 10.74 secs performance. Unso, a former member of the De La Salle University track team in the UAAP and son of PATAFA Sec Gen, Nonoy Unso, aims to improve his bronze-medal performance in the 110m hurdles in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games.
As a fitting follow up to the time trials, a 30-strong team composed of athletes and coaches heads on June 4 to the Hong Kong Sports Institute for a seven-week intensive training. The Hong Kong training marks the first time the PATAFA will send a delegation for training outside the country. The HKSI training is fully supported by the Philippine Sports Commission with the assistance of the Ayala Corporation and the UCPBGEN.
A day before the departure for HKSI, of the bulk of the national team, PATAFA will hold its second and last performance trials to serve as the final cut for the remaining events with slots to be filled up. To date, 17 national athletics team members have already achieved the SEA Games bronze medal standard.
Touted to have strongest chances of winning the SEA Games gold are EJ Obiena for pole vault, Eric Cray for the 400m hurdles, and Mark Harry Diones for the triple jump. Hopes for gold are high for the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 meter relay.