Beram vows to lead relay team to victory

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KUALA LUMPUR: With two individual gold medals hanging on his neck, new Filipino-American track sensation Trenten Beram was thinking how his teammates could savor his wining experience in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

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“I would like them to get them up here with me,” said Beram shortly after being awarded the gold in the men’s 400-meter race following a valiant run at the National Stadium inside the KL Sports City Thursday night.

Battling cramps and drawing a difficult outside lane, Beram displayed a lot of guts in ruling the race in 46.39 seconds for his second consecutive victory, a fitting follow-up to his triumph in the men’s 200-meter run the previous day.

Anthony Beram of Philippines crosses the finish line first to win the men’s 200m athletics final of the 29th Southeast Asian Games at the Bukit Jalil national stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

With the men’s 400-meter win, Beram became the country’s first double gold medalist in the biennial meet — with more expected to come.

Now, the 21-year-old New York City native and fellow Fil-Am Eric Shawn Cray, who retained his 400-meter hurdles title, get to share the wealth with the rest of their teammates as they spearhead the Philippine men’s squads in the 4×100-meter relays on Friday and men’s 4×400-meter relays the next day.

“As long as I’m not injured, I will run both races,” said the good-looking athlete, who has become the crowd darling of Malaysian fans here and whose family was out in full force to see him perform the last two days.

“Winning one was overwhelming, winning two is not even real!” exclaimed his father Glen, who had wife Nena and other children Trina and Tyler in tow in witnessing their celebrated son’s track exploits.

“He (Trenten) wanted to run for his mom’s country since he was little. He has good connection with his (Filipino) grandparents, who also live in New York,” the elder Beram, a high school math teacher, noted. “With the amount of training he has been doing, I knew he had a good chance of winning.”

“I am unbelievably excited and so proud. Yesterday I was crying when Trenten won. Now I’ll go back to my hotel and start crying again,” said Nena Beram of Mandaue, Cebu whose family moved to the United States in 1972.

“My son was also dedicating this victory to his dear lola back in New York,” added Beram’s petite and pretty mom, who owns a gym back in the US. “He gets free workouts at our gym. Now (with his two gold medals) he can get it free anywhere.”

As a treat to himself after two straight taxing days of racing, Beram bared that he would like to eat “gourmet food. I’ve been trying to keep my weight down to keep in shape for my races.”

But he may have to put that on hold in the meantime with the relays looming ahead.

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