Slow, unproductive day for Team PH in SEA Games
KUALA LUMPUR—The fancied athletics’ team got torched by the opposition, prompting it to settle for four bronze medals to underscore the country’s sorry performance in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Friday at the Nationals Stadium inside the KL Sports City here.
With Eric Shawn Cray ailing from a strained left foot and Trenten Beram still reeling from fatigue, the men’s team just couldn’t keep up witMavh the speedy Thai quartet, which took the gold medal in a new SEA Games record of 38.90 seconds in the men’s 4x100-meter run.
The Filipinos, with Beram as anchor man, settled for bronze in 39.11 seconds as the last Indonesian runner came from behind in the last five meters to snatch the silver in 39.05 seconds.
Still, it wasn’t a total loss for the Philippine men’s relay squad as it booked a new national record, surpassing the old mark of 39.95 seconds of Patrick Unso, Beram, Anfernee Lopena and Archand Bagsit at the Hong Kong Inter City meet last June.
Lopena was the opening runner while Bagsit, a 2015 Singapore SEA Games silver medalist, ran the second leg.
Minutes earlier, the women’s squad of Zion Rose Nelson, Kayla Richardson, Kyla Richardson and Eloisa Luzon was left eating dust by the Vietnam squad powered by speedster Le Cu Tinh, who had already won the women’s 100 and 200-meter runs.
The Vietnamese sprint star anchored her team to a record-breaking win in 43.88 seconds, Thailand took silver in 44.2 seconds while the Philippines got the bronze In 44.81 seconds.
Like their male counterparts, the women’s team also reset the national mark, shattering the 26-year-old record of 45.29 set by Lydia de Vega-Mercado, Edna Punelas, Elena Ganosa and Rhoda Sinoro in the 1981 Manila SEA Games.
Melvin Calano gave the country its third bronze in athletics for the day, placing third in the men’s javelin throw after throwing the spear to a distance of 65.94 meters.
“My form was off and my legs were heavy,” said Beram, who had been running for his third consecutive day and barely less than 18 hours after he had annexed the men’s 400-meter title.
On the other hand, Cray revealed that he tweaked his left foot since racing in the men’s 400-meter hurdles and century dash on the same day last Tuesday.
“Today was my first day of practice since Tuesday since I couldn’t run on my left foot,” said the Rio Games veteran, who decided to skip the 4x400-meter relays at the close of athletics Saturday.
Beram also disclosed whether he would still run the same event considering that it would be his fourth consecutive day on the track since Wednesday.
National coach Jojo Posadas said if Beram and Cray are unavailable, SEA Games decathlon champion Aries Toledo and Isidro del Prado Jr., son of the great middle-distance runner Isidro del Prado Sr., would take their place.
Asian long jump queen Marestella Torres-Sunang settled for bronze after tallying 6.45 meters in women’s long jump, while compatriot Katherine Khay Santos registered only 6.18 meters for fifth place.
Melvin Calano also settled for bronze after notching a heave of 65.94 meters in men’s javelin throw competition.
Katharina Lehnert and Denise Dy also ended their campaign on a sorry note as they settled for bronze in lawn tennis’ women’s doubles—an event which they ruled in the previous SEA Games in Singapore.
On the other hand, turning in silver medals are Ruben Gonzales and Francis Casey Alcantara, who bowed to Thailand in the finals of the men’s doubles event of lawn tennis.
The lawn bowls squad of Hazel Jagonoy, Rosita Bradborn and Vilma Greenlees also emerged with a silver medal in the finals of women’s triples event.