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Friday, June 14, 2024

Marielle Denise Venida: Future sprint queen of PHL athletics?

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Marielle Denise Venida, an Auckland-based sprinter, has set the athletics community abuzz with her recent performances on the track.

At just 18 years old, Venida clocked a time faster than that of the late Philippine track legend Lydia de Vega-Mercado when she was the same age, signaling a promising future for the young athlete.

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) chief, Terry Capistrano, said that the association would be closely monitoring Venida’s progress following her impressive campaign at the recent ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championship.

Venida clinched two gold medals at the event, including a standout performance in the women’s under-20 100-meter finals, where she clocked an impressive 11.65 seconds in the recent ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championship.

This clocking surpassed de Vega-Mercado’s best junior record of 11.76 seconds, set at the 1982 Asian Championships in New Delhi, which had stood as the Philippine national junior record for a long time.

“Her form was very raw, but she still won the race. We will have our team evaluate her potential and see what possibilities lie ahead,” said Capistrano.

Lydia de Vega-Mercado’s Philippine record has already been broken by Kayla Richardson, who, at 18 years old, posted an 11.70-second finish during the 2015 SEA Games.

Nevertheless, Venida’s recent performances suggest she could be the next to make her mark in Philippine sprinting history.

Since recovering from a hamstring injury last December, Venida has been experiencing her best season yet. “I would say my best season would be this season. I was able to compete in a lot of competitions, even though I tore my hamstring last year,” Venida shared.

Aspiring to join the Philippine national squad, Venida has already competed in five meets this year, including the Philippine national championships.

On March 10, she participated in the Graeme Douglas Memorial Classic in Auckland, finishing seventh with a time of 12.05 seconds. She then won gold at the National Under-20 Championships in Wellington with a time of 11.89 seconds.

Consistent with her strong performance, Venida secured sixth place with a time of 12.01 seconds at the Sydney Track Classic on March 23, before earning a bronze medal with a time of 11.96 seconds at the Australian U20 Championships.

With her remarkable achievements and determination, Venida is undoubtedly a rising star to watch in the world of athletics.

The future looks exceptionally bright for this talented sprinter as she continues to break records and pursue her dreams.


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