2 Pinoys off to London

It will be a long jumper and a steeplechase who will represent the Philippines in the upcoming XXX Summer Olympiad.

Marestella Torres,  a B standard qualifier, by virtue of her 6.71m jump last year at the SEA Games and Rene Herrera, a recipient of a wild card entry, will fly to London next month and try to bring honors to our tri-colors.

This is actually Torres’ second Olympiad as she setteld for 34th place at the 2008 Beijing Games with jumps of 4.27m-5.94m-6.17m.

Herrera, on the other hand, is a first time Olympian.  He will be succeed Hector Begeo (1984 and 1988) and Eduardo Buenavista (2000) as the 3rd Olympic steeplechaser of the country.

In order to advance to the finals, Rene needs to dig deep and break Begeo’s national mark of 8:35.09.  In order to advance to the finals at the Worlds or Olympics, one must submit a time that usually in the low 8:20s.  Rene owns a personal best of 8:49.39 set 8 years ago.

Marestella Torres will compete in her second Olympics in London.

Mare’ has the bigger chance of qualifying into the final round.  Her SB of 6.62m is ranked 31st in the world as of June 7.  With 7 Americans in front of her, Torres’ seeding should go up in the Olympics as only 3 athletes are allowed per event per country.

The last Pinoy to advance beyond the heats was Hector Begeo in 1988 at the steeplechase.  It was in the semis where he set his still standing national record of 8:35.09.

Prior to that, Lydia de Vega and Isidro del Prado advanced to the quarters in their respective events during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Project Gintong Alay, led by Michael Keon, was responsible for the Philippines’ Olympic quarters appearance of de Vega and del Prado in 1984 and Begeo’s semis appearance in 1988

Below are the summary of Filipino performance in athletics during the seven (7) Olympics (1984 to 2008).

2008 Beijing

Marestella Torres, Women’s Long Jump, 34 of 38 prelims, 4.27m/5.94m/6.17m

Henry Dagmil, Men’s Long Jump, 34 of 38 prelims, 7.58m/x/x

2004 Athens

Eduardo Buenavista, Men’s Marathon, 67 of 81, 2:28:18

Lerma Gabito, Women’s Long Jump, 33 of 37, 6.31m/5.96m/6.13m,

Begeo was the last Pinoy track athlete who qualified for an Olympic semi finals. He did it in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in his pet event the 3,000m steeplechase. His time in that semis race is still the standing National Mark of 8:35.09

2000 Sydney

Eduardo Buenavista, Men’s steeplechase, 14 of 14 heats, 37 of 39 overall, 9:13.71

Lerma Balauitan, Women’s 100m, 5 of 8 heats, 59 of 84, 12.08s

1996 Atlanta

Elma Muros-Posadas, Women’s long jump, 13 of 25 6.04m

Roy Vence, Men’s Marathon, 100 of 111, 2:37:10 (13 runners DNF)

Muros first represented the Philippines in the Olympics in 1984 as a 17 year old long jumper

1992 Barcelona

Hector Begeo, Men’s steeplechase, 11 of 11 heats, 9:14.48

Edward Lasquete, 14 of 15 qualification, Men’s Pole Vault, 5.00m

Herman Suizo, Men’s Marathon, 52 of 87, 2:25:18 (23 runners DNF)

1988 Seoul

Nenita Edan, Women’s 400m hurdles, 7 of 7 heats, 1:01.92s

Hector Begeo, Men’s steeplechase, 8 of 10 heats 8:46.60 / 12 of 12 semis 8:35.09

Agripina dela Cruz, Women’s 100m hurdles, 6 of 7 heats, 14.36s

Lydia de Vega, Women’s 100m, 6 of 8 heats, 11.67s

The Philippine Athletics delegation to the 1984 LA Olympics

1984 Los Angeles

Hector Begeo, Men’s steeplechase, 10 of 12 heats, 8:53.70

Agrifina dela Cruz, Women’s 400m hurdles, 7 of 7 heats, 1:02.70

Isidro del Prado, Men’s 400m, 3 of 7 heats, 46.82s/ 8 of 8 quarters, 46.71s

Lydia de Vega, WOmen’s 100m,  6 of 8 heats, 11.85s/  6 of 8 quarters, 11.97s

Lydia de Vega, Women’s 200m,  6 of 8 heats, 25.10s

Leonardo Illut, Men’s Marathon, 77 of 78, 2:49:39 (28 runners DNF)

Elma Muros Posadas, women’s long jump, 9 of 11 qualifications Group B, 5.57m / 5.64m /x

Photos courtesy of: asianfinest.com/ Isidro del Prado Sr/Hector Bego

Lydia De Vega-Mercado – Legends of Track and Field

Achievements:

  • 1984 & 1988 Olympic Games ( quarter finalist in both games )
  • Currently SEA Games record holder in 100m ( 11.28secs ) since 1987 & former 200m record holder ( 23.35secs ) from 1987 to 2001
  • Asia fastest women for 8 years from 1982 – 1990
  • 2 gold, 1 silver medals in 2 Asian Games
  • 4 gold, 1 silver & 4 bronze medals in 5 Asian Track & Field meet
  • 9 gold, 2 silver medals in 5 SEA Games
  • 9 gold, 2 silver medals in 5 Asean Cup
  • 9 gold in 3 Asean Schools Track & Field meet

Awards:

  • Philippines Sports Writers Association ( PSA )
  1. 1981 – Athlete of the Year
  2. 1986 – Athlete of the Year
  3. 1987 – Athlete of the Year
  4. 1992 – Major Award
  5. 1993 – Major Award
  6. 1994 – Special Award
  7. 1998 – Athlete of the Century
  8. 1999 – Millennium Athlete
  • Sports Columnist Organisation of the Philippines ( SCOOP )
  1. 1981 – Athlete of the Year
  2. 1986 – Athlete of the Year
  3. 1987 – Outstanding Achievement Award
  4. 1993 – Athlete of the Year
  5. 1994 – Hall of Fame
  • Ten Outstanding Young Men ( TOYM )
  1. 1993 – Sports Category
  • International Invitation Track & Field Competition, Bangkok
  1. 1983 – Best Female Athlete
  • Southern Coast Conference, USA
  1. 1986 – Athlete of the Year

Brief Story of Lydia De Vega ( Extracted from Athletics Digest 1983, Singapore ): Track Queen Lydia De Vega from the Philippines
During all the Asian Games in Delhi, sheer joy and deep dissapointment were never as closely connected as after the 100 metres victory of Lydia De Vega. The 18 year old PE student and film actress from the Philippines had won the final comfortably and unchellenged in excellent 11.76secs but had injured herself after breaking the tape. A pulled muscle prevented her from participating also in the 200 metres.
But still, a dream had become true when Lydia crowned herself as the fastest women in Asia; a dream of a 14 year old schoolgirl who had started to compete in Track & Field meets with a promising 27.5secs for the 200m and the silver medal in the Philippines National Junior Championship and who added a fourth place in the 100m to this success. That was four years ago in 1978.
Only one year later, in 1979 at the age of 15 years, Lydia De Vega already represented her country in the 3rd Asian Track & Field Championship in Tokyo. With a leap of 5.47 metres she came in 7th in the Long Jump competition but also carried home a bronze medal when she came third in the women’s 4x400m relay with her team mates Lorena Morcilla, Carmen Torres and Myrna Ayo.
Still in 1979, Lydia won herself three gold medals in the ASEAN School Championship in Singapore. She took the titles in the 100m in 12.5 seconds, in the 400m in 58.0secs and in the Long Jump with a leap of 5.27 metres. But Lydia also won a silver medal in these Games when her 4x100m relay came in second to Malaysia. On the other hand the Games was already showed very clearly that Lydia was always in danger to be over burdened with too many races in just in a single meet.
This applies also to her participation in the 10th SEA Games in Jakarta, still in 1979. Within four days of competition she took part in the 400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay ( in which she came 5th each ), in the 100m  ( in which she was placed 6th and recorded her best result of the Games when she clocked 12.38secs in the heats ), and in the Long Jump in which she came 7th with a performance of 5.45 metres. To cut down her competition programme she resigned from taking part in the Long Jump after having taken the title in this event in the national junior meet of that year.
1980, young Lydia made the news headlines when she won both the 200m and 400m in the first ever ASEAN Cup in Jakarta with times of 24.53 and 55.83 seconds respectively and when she got a ranking in the Asian top-list with 12.0secs in the 100m, 24.53 seconds in the 200m ( this as Asia’s number four ), and with 54.6secs over the 400m, the best time recorded in the one-lap event by an Asian women in that year.
With two silver and one bronze medals in the 4th Asian Track & Field Championship in Tokyo, Lydia De Vega had a flying start into the 1981 season. With a time of 55.39secs, she was second to Japan’s Yunko Yoshida in the 400 metres. In the 200m, she clocked 24.54secs to take the bronze behind the Japanese couple Emiko Konishi and Tomi Ohsaka. Her silver came in the 4x100m relay in which the Philippines team was placed second behind the Malaysia following the disqualification of the winning Japanese team.
At the end of the 1981 season, Lydia De Vega became the undisputed star of the 11th SEA Games in Manila. She assured for the gold medals in the 200m and 400m with outstanding 23.54secs in the shorter distance ( only Chi Cheng was faster in Asia ever ) and with 54.75secs in the metric quarter mile. Silver medals in both relay events completed her success but again showed the danger of being burdened with too many races at the same occasion.
After leaving school and taking up studies in PE at the Far Eastern University in Manila, Lydia De Vega also started an interesting job as a film actress; first in a movie showing the slow but steady progress of an athlete from the modest very beginnings at grassroot level up to setting records and winning gold medals. Her father, Francisco De Vega, who is also her coach, expressed his views about Lydia’s engagements when asked about her future plans, “Studies first, Sports second, Film third.”
Gold medals were of course also on Lydia’s programme for 1982. Unchallenged again she won herself a triple crown in the 2nd ASEAN Cup in Kuala Lumpur with times of 11.8secs for the 100m, 24.2secs for the 200m and 55.0secs for the 400 metres. Having also won a bronze with her team in the 4x400m relay she had to cancel her participation in the sprint relay due to to slight injury which she got in the 400 metres. This was only three weeks prior to the 9th Asian Games in New Delhi.
In the Indian capital, Lydia seemed to be all right again when she won her heat in the 100m in excellent 11.77secs and clipped off another 1/100secs winning the finals from India’s P. T. Usha (11.95secs) and Korea’s Mo Myung Hee (11.99secs), both of her opponents never being able to endanger the fleet-footed track queen from the Philippines. But Lydia had to cancel her participation in the 200m due to new pains caused by her old injury after her triumphant showing in the 100 metres.
And this is how Lydia De Vega, who is a keen singer in her spare time, who was born in December 1964 in Meycauayan Bulacan, and who stands 1.68 metres at a weight of 61.0 kg, developed so far;

Year          Age               100m          200m          400m

1978          14 years             13.2               27.5

- 1979          15 years             12.1               26.6                58.8

1980          16 years             12.0               24.53              54.6

1981          17 years                 –                  23.54             54.75

1982          18 years             11.76            24.20               55.0

article from

 http://www.js-athletics.com/welcome/about_us/coaches/coach_diay.html

UAAP Review: Relay it up

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting events of any track meets is the Mens 4x100m relay team. While raw speed is really important, accuracy of changes is crucial. So many of the worlds fastest teams have been eliminated from dropped batons or passing outside of change zones. This article will review the chances of each team in relays.

Ateneo

While never being a power force in the womens relays. Ateneo did build up to some emphatic wins in the Mens 4×100 over the years. With the most notable lineup being Bryan Sutingco, Charles Banez, Mike Mendoza and Carlo Soriano. Of which only Soriano remains in the team. With the surprise departure of new blood such as JB Capinpin and Franco Imperial. Ateneo will struggle in this event.

De La Salle University

Although it has lost its touch in both the womens relays. The most notable lineup which included Chantal Balani and Jonah Genilza in the early part of last decade. In the early to mid 0s most prominent was UAAP Record Holder Ralph Waldy Soguilon and ace 400m sprinter Christopher Alvin Cardinal. DLSU eventually now has a formidable lineup in the Mens 4×100 this year with the Unso Brothers Jose and Patrick, and UAAP Junior Record Holder in the 100m Jasper Tanhueco. DLSU is also an outside chance in the Mens 4x400m after securing the bronze last year.

Far Eastern University

One of the most dominant teams in UAAP History of Track and Field for both mens and relays. With relays being no exception. Although the mens 4×100 lacks a champion 100m runner this time the amount of depth in the team leaves the other coaches guessing who they will field in the team. With Jesson Ramil Cid, Jhon Rey Bhardos, Pearnel Lobos, Jerwin Ebcas, Abdillah Landasan, Jomar Angus, Joseph Dimapalis and Rolando Uberas they have a very highly competive mens sprint squad and are expected to win the Mens 4×400 quite comfortably with a lot of specialist 400m runners. It seems whenever FEU loses one good runner they bring in two more to replace him/her.

The Womens relay is also a very strong contender in the 4×100, led by double sprint winner Hanelyn Loquinto, and includes Heptathlete Mildrid Salut aswell as many other notable recruits from around the country by Coach Roselyn Hamero.  With such names as Lydia De Vega and Marestella Torres coming from the school has a strong tradition of female athletes. The 4×400 can also be challenged with Josie Malacad, Cherylyn Lopez, and Geli Ann Solis all sub minute runners.

University of the East

The University of the East has not produced a UAAP Mens Champion in the century dash since Nathaniel Moral in the late 90s. However they have always been one of the top draws in the Mens 4×4, led by Abraham Alzona who has a personal best of 49.40. In the womens sprints they have recruited some very talented athletes namely Jenny Rose Rosales of Laguna who won the 100-200-400 at the Palarong Pambansa last year. Rosales is coached by Elma Muros. Rosales holds the Palaro Record in the 400m at 57.4, and with Irene Gullos and Carmela Leonardo having also ran 59 seconds they will be a strong contender for the gold this year in the Womens 4×4.

University of The Philippines

Although it has produced some great individual athletes in the past relays have not been the teams strength. A very young team with some new rookies, the 4×100 will include Gab Soriano (the younger brother of Carlo) and Michael Bayani who was 2nd at the 2010 Palarong Pambansa in the 100m. The team is very likely to struggle against there more experienced opponents. In the past UP has had a surprisingly strong womens team which was composed of May Ann Agrippa, Rose Ramos, Angeli Atienza, Ruffa Bargola and Aiza Cometa. But last year they failed to even get one athlete in the womens 100m final, and now only Atienza and Bargola remain fromt that original lineup.

University of Santo Tomas

UST has a very experienced team of relay runners including Mark David Madera, Emmanuel Delos Angeles and Michael Angelo Baay. However at this stage they are lacking the likes of a quality 400m runner such as Junrey Bano which they had in the past.

However in the womens event UST is probably the most dominant force in UAAP History, like FEU coach Manny Calpes has scoured the Philippines on a scouting mission to recruit the best athletes available. The 4×1 team last year who upset FEU to take the gold again will be in action with Dato-on, Pedrina, and Vienna Mae Banebane returning probably joining them will be 09/10 Palaro Champion Michelle Palmares which makes it an even stronger lineup than last year. In the 4×4 it is expected they will carry on there winning tradition with the trio again.

Its not the worst

SEA Games Federation

The Philippine Athletics Team’s performance at the recent 2011 SEA Games at Palembang, Indonesia was not the worst in the Games history.

The PH Teams at the 1977, 1979 and 1999 SEA Games brought home one (1) gold each courtesy female athletic legends: Erlinda Lavandia and Elma Muros.

It is interesting  to note that after the 1979 and 1999 debacle, Philippine Athletics experienced vast improvements right in the next SEA Games.

The 1981 SEA Games witnessed the unveiling of Project Gintong Alay’s talents, which brought home 8 golds (including 2 each by Isidro del Prado and Lydia de Vega).

While the 2001 SEA Games, saw the unleashing of the so-called GTK’s Army which brought home 7 golds – 6 from new stars, like Eduardo Buenavista, John Lozada and Ernie Candelario.

Are we expecting another renaissance from Philippine Athletics after  the 2011 SEA Games?

Only history can tell.

Below is the list of all Philippine gold medalists in the SEA Games Athletics competition from 1977 to 2011:

1977 SEA Games
1 Erlinda Lavandia Women’s Javelin Throw 45.22m
1979 SEA Games
1 Erlinda Lavandia Women’s Javelin Throw 45.98m

Gov. Keon was the former Director of Project: Gintong Alay. The system which produced PH track legends like Lydia de Vega, Isidro del Prado, Elma Muros, Hector Begeo and Agrifina dela Cruz to name a few

1981 SEA Games
1 Isidro del Prado Sr. Men’s 400m 47.10s
2 Isidro del Prado Sr. Men’s 800m 1:48.78
3 David Carmelo Men’s 10,000m 31:11.77
4 Jimmy dela Torre Men’s Marathon 2:25:50
5 Jaime Grafilo Men’s 400m hurdles 52.19s
6 Lydia de Vega Women’s 200m 23.54s
7 Lydia de Vega Women’s 400m 54.75s
8 Erlinda Lavandia Women’s Javelin Throw 46.20m
1983 SEA Games
1 Isidro del Prado Sr. Men’s 400m 46.40s
2 Leonardo Illut Men’s 10,000m 31:57.42
3 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:57.50
4 Renato  Unso Men’s 400m hurdles 51.26s
5 Chamberlain Gonzales Men’s Pole Vault 4.20m
6 Agustin Jarina Men’s Hammer Throw 48.20m
7 Lydia de Vega Women’s 200m 24.26s
8 Lucena Ulam Women’s 800m 2:13.45
9 Agrifina dela Cruz Women’s 100m hurdles 14.90s
10 Agrifina dela Cruz Women’s 400m hurdles 1:01.43
11 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.06m

Del Prado is the ownerof 5 SEA Games gold medals ranging from 400m (thrice) to 800m and the 4x400m relay

1985 SEA Games
1 Hector Begeo Men’s 5,000m 14:22.28
2 Mario Castro Men’s 10,000m 30:51.8
3 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 9:02.25
4 Leopoldo Arnillo Men’s 400m hurdles 52.20s
5 PH Team Men’s 4x400m relay 3:06.58
6 Agrifina dela Cruz Women’s 100m hurdles 14.09s
7 Agrifina dela Cruz Women’s 400m hurdles 59.29s
8 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.11m
9 Erlinda Lavandia Women’s Javelin Throw 47.96m
10 Nene Gamo Pellosis Heptathlon 4,603 pts
1987 SEA Games
1 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 9:08.03
2 Lydia de Vega Women’s 100m 11.28s
3 Lydia de Vega Women’s 200m 23.57s
4 Agrifina dela Cruz Women’s 100m hurdles 14.19s
5 Nenita Adan Women’s 400m hurdles 1:00.38
6 Lydia de Vega Women’s Long Jump 6.27m

De Vega is the owner of 8 SEA Games golds which she won from the 100m, 200m, 400m and the Long Jump, and still the Games' record holder over the 100m with a mark of 11.28s set in 1987

1989 SEA Games
1 Isidro del Prado Sr. Men’s 400m 47.20s
2 Herman Suizo Men’s Marathon 2:23.19
3 Elma Muros Women’s 100m hurdles 13.98s
4 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.52m
1991 SEA Games
1 Herman Suizo Men’s Marathon 2:22.52
2 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:55.65
3 Edward Lasquette Men’s Pole Vault 4.80m
4 Fidel Repizo Men’s Discuss Throw 52.10m
5 Lydia de Vega Women’s 100m 11.44s
6 Elma Muros Women’s 100m hurdles 13.66s
7 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.30m
8 Nene Gamo Pellosis Heptathlon 5,125 pts
1993 SEA Games
1 Edward Lasquette Men’s Pole Vault 4.85m
2 Lydia de Vega Women’s 100m 11.60s
3 Lydia de Vega Women’s 200m 23.37s
4 Marietta Tabangin Women’s 1500m 4:29.69
5 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.44m
6 Elma Muros Women’s 400m hurdles 58.65s
1995 SEA Games
1 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:59.73
2 Edward Lasquette Men’s Pole Vault 4.90m
3 Elma Muros Women’s 200m 24.00s
4

5

Elma Muros

Elma Muros

Women’s Long Jump

Women’s 100m

6.34m

11.81s

1997 SEA Games
1 Hector Begeo Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 9:08.28
2 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.45m
3 Elma Muros Heptathlon 5,269 pts

Muros won 15 SEA Games golds from 1983 to 2001. The most by any Filipino Track Athlete

1999 SEA Games
1 Elma Muros Women’s Long Jump 6.34m
2001 SEA Games
1 Ernie Candelario Men’s 400m 46.59s
2 John Lozada Men’s 800m 1:49.39
3 Eduardo Buenavista Men’s 5,000m 14:15.13
4 Roy Vence Men’s Marathon 2:23:51
5 Eduardo Buenavista Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:40.77
6 Christabel Martes Women’s Marathon 2:52:43
7 Elma Muros Heptathlon 5,059 pts
2003 SEA Games
1 Ernie Candelario Men’s 400m 47.06s
2 John Lozada Men’s 1500m 3:56.80
3 Eduardo Buenavista Men’s 10,000m 29:19.62
4 Allan Ballester Men’s Marathon 2:21:03
5 Rene Herrera Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:50.78
6 Arniel Ferrera Men’s Hammer Throw 55.28m
7 Danilo Fresnido Men’s Javelin Throw 67.11m
8 Lerma Gabito Women’s Long Jump 6.21m
2005 SEA Games
1 Jimar Aing Men’s 400m 47.03s
2 Rene Herrera Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:56.14
3 Henry Dagmil Men’s Long Jump 7.81m
4 Arniel Ferrera Men’s Hammer Throw 60.47m
5 Danilo Fresnido Men’s Javelin Throw 70.20m
6 PH Team Men’s 4x400m relay 3:09.15
7 Mercedita Manipol Women’s 10,000m 35:38.04
8 Christabel Martes Women’s Marathon 2:47:07
9 Marestella Torres Women’s Long Jump 6.47m

GTK's Army was at its height in 2005 when it brought home 9 gold medals from the SEA Games, the most since 1985. Inset shows Herrera, Banayag and Buenavista showingoff their golds at the 2009 Games

2007 SEA Games
1 Julius Nierras Men’s 400m 46.56s
2 Rene Herrera Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:54.21
3 Henry Dagmil Men’s Long Jump 7.87m
4 Arniel Ferrera Men’s Hammer Throw 60.98m
5 Marestella Torres Women’s Long Jump 6.31m
2009 SEA Games
1 Rene Herrera Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 9:11.20
2 Eduardo Buenavista Men’s Marathon 2:21:10
3 Arniel Ferrera Men’s Hammer Throw 61.62m
4 Danilo Fresnido Men’s Javelin Throw 72.93m
5 Jho Ann Banayag Women’s Marathon 2:46:34
6 Marestella Torres Women’s Long Jump 6.68m
7 Rosie Villarito Women’s Javelin Throw 49.69m
2011 SEA Games
1 Rene Herrera Men’s 3,000m steeplechase 8:52.23
2 Marestella Torres Women’s Long Jump 6.71m

Photocredits: Philstar

Pinoy Asian Games Medalists

Since the start of the Asian Games, a total of 49 medals were already hauled by the Philippine Athletics Team.

As of the last Games in 2006, the medal tally of Philippine Athletics is 11-10-28 (gold-silver-bronze).  15 were for field events (including 2 pentathlon medals), and 34 were for the track events including the 12 for the relay events.

The Top 3 most bemedalled Pinoy tracksters in Asian Games history are the following:

1. Pentathlete & High Jumper Lolita Lagrosas: she won 5 individual medals between 1958 and 1970;

2. Mona Sulaiman won 3 individual medals and 1 relay medal in 1962; and

3. Lydia de Vega-Mercado with 3 individual medals between 1982 and 1986 editions of the Asian Games.

The 5 most productive events are:

1. Men’s 4x100m relay – 5 medals

2. Women’s 100m – 4 medals

3. Women’s 200m – 4 medals

4. Women’s 4x100m – 4 medals

5. Men’s 4x400m – 4 medals

So far, the 1958 edition (Tokyo) of the quadrennial meet is the most successful for the Philippines with a 3-4-4  medal tally.

Here’s the complete list of Filipino Asian Games medalist in Athletics since the inception of the quadrennial meet in 1951:

Muros-Posadas: The last Filipino trackster to medal in the Asian Games

Year    Venue     Athlete     Event   Medal

Count Year Venue Athlete Event Medal
1 1951 New Delhi Andres Franco High Jump Gold
2 1951 New Delhi RP Mens 4x100m Bronze
3 1951 New Delhi RP Mens 4x400m Bronze
4 1954 Manila Genaro Cabrera 100m Silver
5 1954 Manila Jaime Pimentel 400m H Bronze
6 1954 Manila Andres Franco High Jump Bronze
7 1954 Manila Aurelio Amante Discuss Throw Bronze
8 1954 Manila RP Mens 4x100m Bronze
9 1954 Manila RP Mens 4x400m Bronze
10 1954 Manila Inocencia Solis 200m Bronze
11 1954 Manila Vivencia Subido Javelin Throw Bronze
12 1954 Manila RP Womens 4x100m Bronze
13 1958 Tokyo Isaac Gomez 100m Bronze
14 1958 Tokyo Enrique bautista 200m Bronze
15 1958 Tokyo Pablo Somblingo 400m Silver
16 1958 Tokyo RP Mens 4x100m Gold
17 1958 Tokyo RP Mens 4x400m Bronze
18 1958 Tokyo Inocencia Solis 100m Gold
19 1958 Tokyo Francisca Sanopal 80m H Silver
20 1958 Tokyo Manolita Cinco 80m H Bronze
21 1958 Tokyo Lolita Lagrosas High Jump Silver
22 1958 Tokyo Visitacion Badana Long Jump Gold
23 1958 Tokyo RP Womens 4x100m Silver
24 1962 Jakarta Rogelio Onofre 100m Bronze
25 1962 Jakarta Ciriaco Baronda High Jump Bronze
26 1962 Jakarta RP Mens 4x100m Gold
27 1962 Jakarta Mona Sulaiman 100m Gold
28 1962 Jakarta Mona Sulaiman 200m Gold
29 1962 Jakarta Francisca Sanopal 80m H Silver
30 1962 Jakarta Mona Sulaiman Shotput Bronze
31 1962 Jakarta Josephine dela Vina Discuss Throw Bronze
32 1962 Jakarta RP Womens 4x100m Gold
33 1966 Bangkok RP Mens 4x100m Bronze
34 1966 Bangkok Lolita Lagrosas High Jump Silver
35 1966 Bangkok Josephine dela Vina Discuss Throw Gold
36 1966 Bangkok Marcelina Alonso Javelin Throw Bronze
37 1966 Bangkok Lolita Lagrosas Pentathlon Bronze
38 1970 Bangkok Amelita Alanes 200m Silver
39 1970 Bangkok Isabel Cruz 800m Bronze
40 1970 Bangkok Lolita Lagrosas High Jump Bronze
41 1970 Bangkok Lolita Lagrosas Pentathlon Bronze
42 1978 Bangkok RP Womens 4x100m Bronze
43 1982 New Delhi Hector Begeo 3,000m SC Bronze
44 1982 New Delhi Lydia de Vega 100m Gold
45 1986 Seoul Isidro del Prado 400m Silver
46 1986 Seoul RP Mens 4x400m Bronze
47 1986 Seoul Lydia de Vega 100m Gold
48 1986 Seoul Lydia de Vega 200m Silver
49 1994 Hiroshima Elma Muros Long Jump Bronze

My wish list for Philippine Athletics

Welcome 2010!  New year, new hope.  Here are my new year wishes for my beloved sports:

1. Maximize the Cyberspace – There’s no doubt that the internet, nowadays, is the best medium to get to your target market/audience.  Its is the most efficient and most effective in sharing information and news, across all genre: from  kids to senior citizens, and across economic groupings:  from minimum wage earners to successful businessmen.

PATAFA , currently has a blog at multiply  (link) and has a sub page in the POC website.  The latter is just a PR (not interactive) page where you can get the names of the current PATAFA president, secretary general, fax number, address and the email address of the said National Sports Assocation (NSA).

While having a multiply account is a great start, PATAFA can still give more to its athletes and followers other than posting meet/race results (of the NCAA, UAAP, Colgate Weekly Relays and the National Open), provide links to IAAF articles, and post pictures of selected international meets where our national athletes have competed.

How about a website where archives of the sport that talks about the biographies of our athletes who represented our country and have international titles?  Schedules and events of major track meets like National Open so that our athletes and coaches can prepare for them accordingly.

PATAFA can also post entries in the Wikipilipinas or Wikipedia to promote the sport and help provide young athletes the information they needed as they search for a local athlete that they can emulate.

2. Power Rankings – If you ask an athletics afficionado today “Who is the number 1 ranked 100 meter sprinter of our country this year?”, chances are, you will be given two answers, one is who won the National Open, and second is, who registered the fastest time this year.

British Athletics do their rankings according to the rankings of athletes in each meet or championship.  Points awarded depends on the importance and depth coverage of the championship.  Hence National Championships award higher points than County Championships (District level to us).

Or we can adopt a simple system of ranking the athletes depending on their best time/performance recorded for each event during the year.

Regardless of the system,  there should be a  monthly update of the rankings.  This will surely motivate and inspire athletes to do even better in their upcoming events if they see their current rankings.

3. Motivate the running clubs/teams and coaches – Aside from the athletes, why not inspire the coaches and club officials by giving them an annual award?  Athletic clubs are maximized in the UK and USA and as a result, the Athletic Commission has a year long pool of talents that can be tapped at any given time of the year.

We can adopt the points system of the British Athletics as discussed in number 2 above.

4. Market/Merchandise the athletes – Let’s tap the enormous fund of the Corporate world.  Let’s approach Corporations with sports inclination and ask them to adopt one athlete where they can fund his/her international races for precious exposures and international experience.  PATAFA can apply for a Donee Certification from the BIR so that all funds given to the athlete can be treated as deductions from their taxable income.  A steady source of fund can make or break an athlete.

5. The 4 minute mile/3:40 metric mile –  It’s been 56 years since this barrier has been broken by Sir Roger Bannister and 53 years since the Stanislav Jungwirth went under 3:40 in the 1,500m run.  But the Philippines has yet to achieve these athletic milestones.  A number of Asian countries have passed the metric mile mark already like Japan, China and South Korea to name a few.  Let’s catch up with our Asian neighbors first, then with the world.

6. Asian Games medal of any color for Athletics – the last 3 Pinoy athletes that brought home an Asian Games medals are all long retired. They are Isidro del Prado: 400m dash silver (1986), Elma Muros: 400m hurdles bronze (1990) and long jump bronze (1994), Lydia de Vega: 100m gold and 200m silver (1986). Note that the Team RP also won the bronze of the mens 4x400m relay at the 1986 Asian Games.  I hope and pray that our long draught will come to an end this 2010!

7. Emergence of a  great rivalry – Remember the rivalry of Lydia de vega and Elma Muros early in their career?  Their non-aggressive, non-confrontational competition in the 100 meters spurred the interest of the ordinary Filipino masses.  Of course, their SEA Games, and Asian Games medals greatly helped flame their rivalry, though they later became more warm & friendly towards each other near the end of their international careers.   They also explained that they never hated each other, they are just focused on their tasks, i.e. bringing home the medals for the country.

Another great example is the heated rivalry of  road kings Primo Ramos and Herman Suizo during the late 80s until the early 90s. Their intense competition benefitted Philippine roadracing as the national records in the 15k, 10 miles (16k) 20k, half marathon (21k) and the full marathon (42k) were lowered alternately by these two gentlemen.

8. International Meets in our backyard – The ongoing economic crunch might curb down the possibility of more international exposures for our athletes this year.  One alternative is to hold the meets here in our country.  2 important things here are: 1. Finding the willing sponsors and 2. Attracting the marquee players/athletes to spur interest from the public.

We have to look for new corporate sponsors aside from Milo and Colgate to help athletics.  This is where the top executives of PATAFA will come in and tap into their network.  Also, the meets that we are going to hold here should attract not just Asian greats but also Olympic medalist from other continents.  Not since 2 time Olympic gold medalist (1976 & 1980) German marathoner Waldemar Cierpinski graced the 1st Metro Manila International Marathon in 1982, have we seen a marquee athlete ran on Philippine soil.  Of course, the appearance fee would be astronomical but the benefit will far outweigh the cost.

9. Emergence of Street Mile Races – For the past couple of years Botak, has sponsored street mile races ala New York’s 5th Avenue Mile Race.  But for the event to flourish, we need to have more race organizers try out this category.

10. More media exposure – Let’s face it, Philippines is a basketball country.  And all newspapers and TV and Radio programs have basketball as their staples in their sports sections.  But athletics hardly land on the daily news.  I’ve only learned of Marestella Torre’s (long jump) gold medal effort in the Asian Athletics Championship in the IAAF website.

So these are my 10 wishes for Philippine athletics this 2010.  It will be a miracle if only 2 from the above will come true, but who knows, we all believe in miracles don’t we?

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