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Friday, July 19, 2024

Fil-Am Hoffman continues PH record-breaking spree

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Filipino-American Lauren Hoffman smothered a Philippine record for the second time in a month, while Fil-Moroccan standout Yacine Guermali won his first local race on Wednesday as the ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championships 2024 got going at the Philsports track oval in Pasig.

The early morning weather was manageable when Hoffman went below an existing Philippine national record again in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

Getting up early some two hours before the heats to practice, an energized Hoffman went on to clock 13.61 seconds to get the top spot in the finals.

This will be the second time that the 25-year-old Hoffman went below the 17-year-old national mark of Sheena Atilano, who established the Philippine record of 13.65 seconds, back in the 2007 Asian Grand Prix in India.

Hoffman, whose entry into the national team was made possible with help of the Fil-Am Sports group, was in front of Army sprinter Jelly Paragile, who finished second overall at 14.24 seconds, and Sarawak runner Emma Yu Wei Ling in third at 15.78 meters.

On April 14, Hoffman recorded a 13.41-second performance when she competed in the Duke Invitational Athletics meet in Durham, North Carolina to shatter Atilano’s feat for the first time.

“I feel great,” said Hoffman before heading for practice, with the sun still peeking from behind light clouds.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association secretary general Jasper Tanhueco said they are updating their records, still ratifying Hoffman’s performances in the past months.

So far, Hoffman has smashed three Philippine marks, after she ripped the women’s 400-meter hurdles time last March and the indoor women’s 400-meter clocking twice last February.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old year old Guermali started overtaking the tailenders of the men’s 5000-meter run midway in the race and was all alone in the lead when he claimed the gold medal in 14 minutes, and 12.83 seconds.

Cheered on by family members, who flew over from the US to watch, Guermali, a recent graduate at Gonzaga University in Washington State, outran national team member Sonny Wagdos, who stayed behind him the whole time, and settled for the silver in 14:54.95.

“After the first few laps, I did not keep track of my pace. I just ran. It helps a lot, there’s a lot of competitors,” said Guermali, whose dad Adam is a former member of the Moroccan national team, and got injured weeks before he was to see action in the London Olympics.

National team member Janry Ubas took the men’s long jump gold in 7.83 meters, with Adamson University’s Kent Jardin and Mapua’s Algin Gomez in second and third, respectively, with leaps of 7.39 meters and 7.20 meters.

Adamson’s Elizabeth Sicat cleared 33.35 meters in the women’s javelin throw, beating national team bet Gennah Malapit’s 33.08-meter heave. Sicat’s schoolmate Irene Veloso was third.

Daniella Daynata, back from a four-year layoff, ruled the women’s discus throw at 43.10 meters, with Pasig’s Chrizzel in second in 36.06 meters, and Keisha Tolin in third at 34.43.

Heart Duarte of the University of the East claimed the women’s shotput honors with an 11.68- meter heave, followed by Ateneo’s Yden Candelario (11.36) and Courtney Trangia (10.33).

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