BANGKOK—As if serving notice to its Southeast Asian rivals, the Philippine Team finished strongly in the recent Thailand Open with two new national records, three gold medals, two silvers, and one bronze for a new season’s best.
At the conclusion of the invitational championships, the quartet of Archand Bagsit, Edgardo Alejan, Michael del Prado, and Joan Caido bagged the gold medal in the men’s 4x400m relay, while Aries Toledo took the silver medal and reset the Philippine record in the decathlon by amassing a total of 7127 points and eclipsing Jesson Cid’s 7,069 points.
Other standouts from the national squad who gave remarkable performances are Mark Harry Diones, who bagged the gold medal in the triple jump with a leap of 16.13m; Ronne Malipay, who bagged a bronze in the same event with a personal best of 15.85m; Patrick Unso, who copped silver and became the first Filipino to clock under 14sec in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.91s, and Janry Ubas, who leapt to a distance of 7.78m for the gold medal to easily secure the top spot in the SEA ranking for long jump.
The bulk of the team who saw action at the Thai Open will head directly to the Hong Kong Sports Institute on June 16 for a four-week intensive training camp just before the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.
They will be joined by US-based national team members Trenten Beram and Tyler Ruiz.
The next major competitions in the offing for the national squad are the Asian Athletics Championships in Odisha, India from July 6 to 10, the Pre-SEA Games Malaysia Open from July 16 to 18, and the World Championships in London from August 4 to 13.
Eric Cray and EJ Obiena lead the roster of national athletes seeing action at the London world athletics’ tilt.
Upon the return of the members of the national squad from HKSI, the entire athletics’ team is set to integrate and resume training at the PSC training camp in Baguio City.
“The whole idea is to capitalize on the winning momentum generated from all the competitions participated in by the team and the camaraderie built from the months of training together as a team,”said PATAFA president Philip Juico.
The athletics’ chief is upbeat about the RP team’s chances in the upcoming SEA Games.
“We are hoping to equal or surpass our medal harvest from the 2015 Singapore SEA Games. God willing and with the right strategy and discipline, we can do it,”Juico added.
The buildup of the national athletics’ squad is fully supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, and backed by Ayala Corporation, UCPB Gen, and Cherrylume Corrugated Sheets.