IAAF sees only three PH golds
By June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer 9:53 pm | Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 0shareNew 0
MANILA, Philippines—The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has picked Vietnam to dominate the track and field competitions of the Southeast Asian Games starting Thursday in Indonesia.
And IAAF chief statistician Heinrich Hubbeling of Germany projected only a sixth-place finish for the Philippines in the sport with a probable best output of only three golds in 46 events.
This was a far cry from the prediction of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, which earlier predicted no less than six gold medals based on the previous performances of the national tracksters in the 2009 Laos SEA Games.
According to the world governing body for track and field, the final medal tally in athletics in the 26th SEA Games would go like this: Vietnam (13 golds), Thailand (11), Malaysia (10), Indonesia (7), Philippines (3) and Singapore (2).
Hubbeling came up with the forecast and released it in the internet after compiling all the results in all IAAF-sanctioned tournaments where Southeast Asian nations competed the past two years.
“It’s hard to dispute the projection of the IAAF since all of these are backed by accurate data and figures,” said Patafa president Go Teng Kok yesterday during the sendoff of the 24-man track and field team.
Based on comparative statistics collated by Hubbeling, long jump queen Marestella Torres will retain the gold medal along with Rene Herrera in the 3000-meter steeple chase.
Also favored to win is the 4×400-meter men’s relay team of Julius Nierras, Junray Bano, Christian Bagsit and Edgardo Alejan.
Hubbeling predicted that perennial SEA Games hammer thow king Arniel Ferrera will settle for a silver this time along with javelin throwers and Laos champions Rosie Villarito and Danilo Fresnido.
Long jumper Henry Dagmil, another gold prospect, and marathon bet Eric Panique were also rated good for just the silver.
Go said that Nonthuch Phalanupat’s recorded 67.27-meter heave in men’s javelin doesn’t assure the Thai of a victory when compared to Fresnido’s 67.20m throw.
Villarito (50.30m) could also upstage favorite Nuttha Nacham of Thailand (50.40m), Go added.
Ferrera, gold medalist in his event since 2001, has registered 59.25m, two meters short of Thailand’s Tantipong Phetchaiya’s personal best of 61.72m.
Go is also pinning his hopes on Eduardo Buenavista (marathon) and Bano (400m hurdles).
“If we’re lucky, we could win as many as eight golds,’’ said Go, whose wards bagged seven gold medals in Laos.