Bahrain’s new imports

Effective 3rd quarter of 2014, Bahrain has three (3) recruits that will be allowed to run under its flag as per IAAF rule.   They are:

1. El Hassan El Abbassi from Morocco, effective July 19, 2014.

El Hassan winning the 2014 Ottawa 10k

El Hassan winning the 2014 Ottawa 10k (Photocredit: Sebastien Lavallee)

Personal bests: 5,000m = 13:33.95/ 10,000m = 27.32.96/ half marathon = 1:01.09.  Entered at the 10,00m at the Asian Games.

2. Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa from Kenya, effective July 15, 2014

Jepkirui during Rio de Janeiro Marathon

Jepkirui during Rio de Janeiro Marathon Photocredit:


Personal bests: 3,000m steeplechase = 10:18.3/ 10 kms = 31.57/ half marathon = 1:08:31, marathon = 2:21:41.  Entered in the marathon at the Asian Games.

3. Rajaa Lemmadi from Morocco, effective September 10, 2014

Personal bests: 800m = 2:06.96/ 1500m = 4:34.96.  Entered in the 800m and 4x400m at the Asian Games.

Source: IAAF, Gulf Daily News


Asiad prospect 4: The Ironman

7. Jesson Ramil Cid

The last time the Philippines won a SEA Games decathlon gold was courtesy of Fidel Gallenero in 2001.  And at the Asian continental level, since the 70s, we never had a medalist in this event.  But an interesting twist of fate happened in 2007, a raw talent was spotted by no less than Mike Keon at an Ilocos regional event and was quickly referred to Coach Andaya of FEU.

Cid during the 2013 SEA Games

Cid is very competitive in the running events

Jesson Ramil Cid’s skills was polished at FEU, and he quickly showed what his talent is all about.  Aside from the decathlon, he also competed in individual events like long jump, 110m hurdles, 200m, 400m hurdles and 400m where he consistently win medals as well.  With so many events he was competing in at the UAAP’s four-day event, his decathlon points are somewhat diluted.

But with Cid concentrating now at the Decathlon following his graduation last 2013, expect a tremendous spike in his performance.

Lets take a look at Cid’s national record breakdown as compared to the 2010 Asian Games bronze medalist Vu Van Huyen of Vietnam and 2014 Asian leader Keisuke Ushiro of Japan:


Events Cid Huyen Ushiro
100m 10.89 10.76 11.24
Long Jump   7.05   7.16   7.15
Shotput 11.71 11.80 15.19
High jump   1.97   1.97   2.03
400m 48.16  48.93 49.66
110m H  15.52  15.13 14.90
Discuss  26.67  41.36 50.17
Pole Vault   4.10    4.70  4.80
Javelin 47.63 55.14  69.11
1500m 4:35 4:30 4:42
Total 7,070 7,755 8,308

Clearly, Cid’s weakpoints are the throwing and jumping events.  His speed and stamina are without question.  In fact he is very competitive at the 100m, 400m and 1500m even at the world level.  Cid can potentially be a world-class athlete and realistically vie for a medal in 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships.  But first he needs to be guided and trained by world-class coaches in the throws and jumps (with all due respect to his current coaches).

Cid needs to improve on his throws to realize his full potential in the decathlon

Cid needs to improve on his throws to realize his full potential in the decathlon

Asian toplist as of August 31, 2014

1 8308 Keisuke USHIRO 24-Jul-86
1 Nagano 1-Jun-14
( 11.24/-0.6 – 7.15/-0.5 – 15.19 – 2.03 – 49.66 / 14.90/0.1 – 50.17 – 4.80 – 69.11 – 4:32.62 )
2 8035 Akihiko NAKAMURA 23-Oct-90
2 Nagano 1-Jun-14
( 10.80/-1.3 – 7.35/2.0 – 12.44 – 2.03 – 47.48 / 14.21/0.1 – 35.01 – 4.90 – 50.40 – 4:15.03 )
3 7804 Qi GUO 28-Dec-90  CHN 1 Zhaoqing 20-Apr-14
( 11.32/0.3 – 7.11/-0.2 – 13.18 – 2.07 – 50.00 / 14.34/0.5 – 42.28 – 5.00 – 48.65 – 4:38.25 )
4 7756 Dmitriy KARPOV 23-Jul-81
1 Asikkala 16-Aug-14
( 11.15/0.1 – 6.72/0.0 – 15.98 – 2.02 – 50.21 / 14.64/0.1 – 47.48 – 4.80 – 47.42 – 4:54.44 )
5 7604 Takumi OTOBE 22-Apr-89  JPN 3 Nagano 1-Jun-14
( 10.67/-1.3 – 7.42/2.5 – 12.49 – 1.91 – 48.49 / 14.87/0.1 – 36.63 – 4.80 – 48.13 – 4:46.79 )
6 7582 Yufei HU 9-Nov-93
2 Zhaoqing 20-Apr-14
( 11.24/0.5 – 7.17/0.8 – 13.50 – 2.01 – 50.27 / 14.56/0.5 – 41.89 – 4.60 – 49.22 – 4:47.43 )
7 7515 Kazuya KAWASAKI 2-Sep-92  JPN 5 Nagano 1-Jun-14
( 10.99/-1.3 – 7.15/-0.4 – 10.77 – 2.03 – 49.99 / 15.49/0.7 – 37.20 – 4.70 – 56.12 – 4:32.80 )

Prospect: With at least 7 Asians scoring 7,700 points this 2014, Cid will have a very tough fight among the ironmen of the continent.  Potentially, Cid can score 7,300 points and establish a new Philippine record.

Best: 5th Worst: 8th

Sources: IAAF, Jad Adrian Washif, Wikipedia,

Photocredits: Getty images/AFP, Soe Than Win/AFP


Asiad prospect 3: The quarter-milers

5. Archand Christian Bagsit

Archand Bagsit won two golds at the  2013 SEA Games

Archand Bagsit won two golds at the 2013 SEA Games

The former Letran Knights standout is having breakthrough year this 2014.   Last May at the Singapore Open, Bagsit joined Isidro del Prado Sr., Julius Nierras, Ernie Candelario, Jimar Aing and Edgardo Alejan Jr.  as the only Filipino to register sub 47 seconds in the 400m with a time of 46.90s.   On an all time PH ladder, he is now ranked 5th behind the first four mentioned above.

Rank Mark Athlete Country Venue Date
1 44.43 Yousef Ahmed MASRAHI  KSA Lausanne 3-Jul-14
2 45.46 Yuzo KANEMARU  JPN Fukuroi 3-May-14
3 45.79 Naoki KOBAYASHI  JPN Jinhua 6-Jul-14
4 45.88 Nobuya KATO  JPN Kumagaya 5-Sep-14
5 45.91 Rabia AL KAWARI  QAT Istanbul 8-Jun-14
6 45.93 Abbas Abubakar ABBAS  BRN Plovdiv 12-Jul-14
7 45.98 Yusuke ISHIZUKA  JPN Fukuroi 3-May-14
8 45.98 Bonggo PARK  KOR Kimchun 25-Jun-14
9 46 Mehdi ZAMANI  IRI Tehran 21-Aug-14
10 46.06 Sajah Hashemi AHANGARI  IRI Tehran 7-Aug-14
11 46.1 Tomoya TAMURA  JPN Kumagaya 5-Sep-14
12 46.13 Arokia RAJIV  IND Lucknow 8-Jun-14
13 46.13 Ali Khamis KHAMIS  BRN Plovdiv 12-Jul-14
14 46.17 P.P. Kunhu MUHAMMED  IND Lucknow 8-Jun-14

Prospect: Although the 23 yr old Bagsit has a bright future ahead, this years Asian Games is too much for him.  He will be needing a lot of luck in entering the finals as there are at least 12 Asian quarter milers that registered faster mark than him this 2014 led by Continental Cup bronze medalist Yousef Masrahi of Saudi Arabia.

Best: 8th in the finals Worst: Heats


6. Men’s 4x400m team

Alejan, Nierras, Bagsit and del Prado celebrates after winning the 2013 SEA Games 4x400m gold

Alejan, Nierras, Bagsit and del Prado celebrates after winning the 2013 SEA Games 4x400m gold

The team of Isidro del Prado Jr., Archand Bagsit, Edgardo Alejan and Julius Nieras Jr  was formed a couple of years ago and immediately reap rewards as they won the 2013 SEA Games 4x400m title, the Philippines’s first 4x400m relay gold since 2005.

Nierras, the most senior of the four at 35 yrs old, was a member of that team and was a SEA Games gold medalist himself, winning the 400m title in 2007.

Rank Mark Country Country Venue Date
1 03:03.2 JAPAN  JPN Nassau (T. Robinson Stadium) 25-May-14
2 03:06.4 SAUDI ARABIA  KSA Nassau (T. Robinson Stadium) 24-May-14
3 03:06.9 KOREA  KOR Singapore 23-Aug-14
4 03:08.0 KAZAKHSTAN  KAZ Almaty 15-Jun-14


Prospect: The quartet’s best time this year was a 3:11.67 effort at Singapore.  Still 3 seconds off their golden performance in last years SEA Games.

The last time the Philippines won a medal in this event was in 1986 when the Bicol Express was still chugging.   Led by del Prado Sr,  the Philippine 4x400m team won the bronze.

A generation later, Del’s son and namesake has the chance to fight for a relay medal we last won 28 years ago courtesy of his dad.  Tilo, Archand, Julius and Edgardo are good enough to qualify for the finals.  However, Coach Ernie Candelario’s boys need to at least hover around the national mark of 3:06.58 to at least be competitive for a medal.  The Asian toplist above still doesn’t include China and India who have relay teams much faster than the Philippines’s.

Best: 5th place Worst: 8th place

Sources: Pinoyathletics, Jad Adrian Washif

Photocredits: Joey Mendoza,

Asiad prospect 2: The Rising Stars

3. Eric Shauwn Cray

Eric burst into the local track scene only last 2013 through the efforts of Fil-New Zealander Andrew Pirie.  Eric quickly established himself as the real deal by winning the 110m  hurdles at the 2013 PNG and the 400m hurdles at the SEA Games.

Even before coming to the Philippines, he is already holder of the national records at the 400m hurdles and 110m hurdles.

Eric Cray during the 2014 SIngapore Open

Eric Cray during the 2014 SIngapore Open

Asian Top list (as of August 31, 2014)

Rank Mark Athlete Date of Birth Country Venue Date
1 49.4 Dmitriy KOBLOV 30-Nov-92  KAZ Almaty 28-Jun-14
2 49.49 Takayuki KISHIMOTO 6-May-90  JPN Fukushima 8-Jun-14
3 49.55 Ali Khamis KHAMIS 30-Jun-95  BRN Eugene (Hayward Field), OR 25-Jul-14
4 49.69 Takatoshi ABE 12-Nov-91  JPN Fukushima 18-May-14
5 49.95 Akihiko NAKAMURA 23-Oct-90  JPN Fukushima 8-Jun-14
6 49.96 Kazuaki YOSHIDA 31-Aug-87  JPN Osaka 17-May-14
7 49.97 Yuta KONISHI 31-Jul-90  JPN Fukushima 8-Jun-14
8 49.98 Tetsuya TATENO 5-Aug-91  JPN Fukushima 8-Jun-14
9 50.07 Yuki MATSUSHITA 9-Sep-91  JPN Heusden-Zolder 19-Jul-14
10 50.26 Keisuke NOZAWA 7-Jun-91  JPN Fukushima 7-Jun-14
11 50.26 Wen CHENG 18-Mar-92  CHN Jinan 12-Jul-14
12 50.34 Seiya KATO 22-Nov-92  JPN Kumagaya 6-Sep-14
13 50.38 Takaoki HASHIMOTO 18-Jul-92  JPN Yokohama 25-May-14
14 50.41 Jithin PAUL 13-Mar-90  IND Lucknow 6-Jun-14
15 50.49 Chia-Hsuan YU 22-Jan-95  TPE Taipei City 15-Jun-14
16 50.52 Atsushi YAMADA 3-Jul-91  JPN Fukushima 7-Jun-14
17 50.57 Chieh CHEN 8-May-92  TPE Auburn, AL 19-Apr-14
18 50.59 Noriyuki IDEURA 29-Oct-87  JPN Fukuroi 3-May-14
19 50.61 Guozhong WANG 31-Jan-95  CHN Taipei City 15-Jun-14
20 50.64 Ke CHEN 14-Sep-89  CHN Zhaoqing 20-Apr-14
21 50.66 Seung-yoon LEE 28-Feb-89  KOR Kimchun 26-Jun-14

Prospect: Eric’s talent is is unquestionable.  He is actually our best sprinter and hurdler this 2014.  According to pinoyathletics, he is on top of the national ranking at the 100m (10.65s).  The 400m hurdles however, are way too loaded at this time.  There are at least 6 sub 50s hurdlers entered in the Asiad plus another 6 who ran faster this 2014 as compared to Eric’s PB of 50.46set in 2012.

Best: 8th place in the finals Worst: Semi finals stint

4.  Christopher Ulboc Jr.

Christopher Ulboc Jr. celebrates after his win in the 2013 SEA Games steeplechase finals

Christopher Ulboc Jr. celebrates after his win in the 2013 SEA Games steeplechase finals

The Philippines has a long winning tradition in the steeplechase, at least in the South East Asian region.  However, at the Asian level, we have not progressed since the time of Hector Begeo in the 80s. Last 2013 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), this tradition was handed down from 2011 SEAG winner Rene Herrera, to the new champion Christopher Ulboc.

The 24 yr old Ulboc will have his baptism of fire at the continental level in this years Asian Games.  And this may be the best time to cultivate a young talent.  The so-called “GTK army” are retiring one by one because of age.  A new “army” should be assembled with haste and urgency in the next 3 years.  And Ulboc should be part of that army.  Ulboc has the talent.  He has the speed considering that he has a 1:54 PB at the 800m.

Asian Top list (as of August 31, 2014)

Rank Mark Athlete Date of Birth Country Venue Date
1 08:20.0 John Kibet KOECH 23-Aug-95  BRN Bydgoszcz 2-Jun-14
2 08:24.4 Nelson Kipkosgei CHERUTICH 3-Mar-93  BRN Bydgoszcz 2-Jun-14
3 08:31.2 Abubaker Ali KAMAL 8-Nov-83  QAT Doha 9-May-14
4 08:32.6 Evans Rutto CHEMATOT 19-Mar-96  BRN Eugene (Hayward Field), OR 27-Jul-14
5 08:33.4 Dejene REGASSA 18-Apr-89  BRN Marrakech 8-Jun-14
6 08:33.8 Aoi MATSUMOTO 7-Sep-87  JPN Joensuu 24-Jul-14
7 08:35.4 Jun SHINOTO 2-Apr-85  JPN Fukushima 6-Jun-14
8 08:39.5 Hironori TSUETAKI 8-May-93  JPN Fukushima 6-Jun-14

Prospect: Unfortunately for Ulboc, steeplechase is one of the events that has a very high competitive level in Asia.  Aside from the Japanese, African imports of Bahrain and Qatar dominate Asian competitions.  With a personal best of 9:01 at the steeple, the only hope of Christopher is for the race to be a slow tactical one. This way, he can be nearer with the leaders and lose a manageable 100m (14 – 18 seconds behind).  But if the Africans want a fast race, then a 300 meter gap (40 seconds) is possible.

Best: 8th  Worst: 12th

Sources: IAAF, Pinoyathletics

Photo credits:,

Baguio training camp


1981 Baguio Traiing Camp

September 1981 Baguio Training Camp

Mula June 1981 hanggang February 1986,  sa Baguio Teacher’s Camp oval ang training ng Track and Field team.  Malaki ang naitulong sa performance ko ang Baguio training dahil sa ito ay high altitude.

Base sa first year ko sa training camp malaki ang improvement ko sa 1500m from 4:10 to 3:52, sa 3000m steeple from 9:18 to 8:52 and 5000m from 15:20 to 14.44.44.

Training starts at 7:30am hanggang mga 9:30am depende sa mga training workout.

Ang naalala kong room mate ay ang walkathoner na si Rostico.  Ang  in-charge sa food and nutrition namin ay si Camp director Nars Padilla.


Standing L-R: Sharon Hotfield, Erlinda Lavandia, Tito Edamame, Nanette Corazon Magante, Billy, Lacusong, Elma Muros, Dorie Cortejo, Nene Pellosis, Alma Orlina, Suzano Erang, ?, Coach Tinker Hotfield,

Front row L-R: Enocincio Maquiling, Andre Rosale, Casanova, Danilo Jarina, Ruben, ?, Manuel de Oro,?.

Yung iba hindi ko na mantandaan ang names kaya “?” and yung iba I cannot recall their last names na.

Asian Games teaser: 2010 women’s 800m final

Last November 25, 2010, the women’s 800m final was held at the Asian Games in Gouangzhou.  India’s Tintu Luka’s fast first lap of 57s immediately spread the field.  However, as her other major races, she falters near the finish line and settled for bronze with a 2:01.36 mark.  Kazakhstan’s Margarita Matsko won in 2:00.29 and Vietnam’s Truong Thanh Hang won the silver in 2:00.91.

Defending champion and 2006 double gold medalist (800/1500m) Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain was never a factor and settled for 6th place 6 seconds behind Matsko.


 The final standings:

Rank Athlete Time Notes
1  Margarita Matsko (KAZ) 2:00.29
2  Trương Thanh Hằng (VIE) 2:00.91
3  Tintu Luka (IND) 2:01.36
4  Akari Kishikawa (JPN) 2:03.73
5  Ruriko Kubo (JPN) 2:04.52
6  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN) 2:06.07
7  Sinimole Paulose (IND) 2:06.95
8  Genzeb Shumi (BRN) 2:08.38

Sources: Wikipedia

Focus on EJ’s Vault

Ernest John Obiena after his Philippine Junior & Senior Pole Vault record at the Singapore Open.

Ernest John Obiena after his Philippine Junior & Senior Pole Vault record at the Singapore Open.


18-year-old pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena single handidly created interest and excitement over an event where Filipinos are not traditionally inclined to take up.  With his record shattering performances since March 2014, EJ also made the Philippines one of the favorites to win the SEA Games pole vault gold next year.

Among the 11 nations comprising the  SEA region, the Philippines is now only behind Thailand’s 5.22 national mark.

Compared to the other Asian powers, the Philippines are still far from the leaders, with Uzbekistan leading the way with 6.00m national mark and Kazakhstan 5.90 mark.

However, what is exciting about EJ is that, he is only 18 years old.  He will turn 19 on November 17.  That means his performances and records are Junior records as well.   Since June of 2013, he has upped his personal best from 4.50m to his current national mark of 5.20m.  A remarkable 0.70m improvement in the last 14 months.

It’s a pity that EJ’s record shattering performance last August 24 came way after the cut off date for the Asian Games selection.  His 5.20m mark will give him no lower than 5th place in this years Asiad.  But with the momentum that he has right now, coupled with the lackluster performances of other Asian pole vaulters this year, he could have been the Philippines’s BEST BET to medal .

With his God-given talent and a very supportive family, I will not be surprised if he will reach 6.00m on or before turning 25 years old.

Below are the summary of pole vault national marks of selected Asian countries:

Country Mark Athlete Date Venue
Thailand                5.22 Kreetha Sinthawacheewa 12-Dec-10 Chonburi, Thailand
Philippines                5.20 Ernest John Obiena 24-Aug-14 Singapore
Malaysia                5.15 Mohd Iskandar Alwi 1-Jun-14 Kangar, Malaysia
Indonesia                5.13 Nunung Jayadi 30-Mar-02 Sidoarjo, Indonesia
Singapore                4.82 Chan Sheng Yao 5-Apr-13 Singapore
Vietnam                4.80 Nguyen Van Hue 12-Sep-11 Hi Chi Minh, Vietnam
Vietnam                4.80 Vu Van Huyen 16-Dec-13 Naypyidaw, Myanmar
Brunei                4.70 Demingo Kapal 3-Sep-95 Singapore
Laos                4.00 Novome Ying Yong 12-Oct-09 Vientiane, Laos
Cambodia                3.90 Péou Chin 18-Jul-68 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Uzbekistan                6.00 Rodion Gataullin 9/16/1989 Tokyo, Japan
Kazakhztan                5.90 Grigoriy Yegorov 19-Aug-93 Stuttgart, Germany
Kazakhztan                5.90 Grigoriy Yegorov 10-Sep-93 London, UK
Japan                5.83 Daichi Sawano 3-May-05 Shizuoka, Japan
China                5.80 Xue Changrui 21-May-14 Beijing, China
South Korea                5.66 Kim Yoo-Suk 16-Sep-07 Livermore, USA
Qatar                5.30 Ahmed Abdulkarim 2-Dec-98 Doha, Qatar
Saudi Arabia                5.27 Hussein Assem Al-Hizam 8-May-13 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
India                5.13 K. P. Bimin 8/23/2012 Jabalpur, India
Bahrain                4.45 Ibrahim Jassim Hussein 16-Apr-95 Manama, Bahrain

Sources: Wikipedia,

Videocredits: UNTV



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