Fresnido cops first gold for PH in Masters Athletics

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Danilo Fresnido bagged the Philippines’ first gold medal in the 22nd World Masters Athletics Championships on Monday at the Western Australia Athletics Stadium in Perth, Australia.

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The 44-year-old Fresnido dominated the men’s 40-44 javelin throw event after registering 62.30 meters to outclass his rivals from Europe, Asia and America in the tournament sanctioned by the international Athletics Associations Federation.

Finland’s Harri Leivonen settled for silver with 54.92m while India’s Ved Prahash Singh copped the bronze with 52.38m.

Sami Salo of Finland wound up fourth with 50.23m followed by Erick Friedman of the US (48.51m), Markus Paquee of Germany (47.85m), Graham Lay of Great Britain (44.74m) and Rene Doel of Australia (43.78m).

Fresnido, a former Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, surpassed his silver-medal finish in the 2015 edition of the world meet held in Lyon, France.

Four more members of the Philippine squad will be gunning for medals including former world champion Erlinda Lavandia who will be seeing action in the women’s javelin throw.

Lavandia wants to reclaim the gold medal in her pet event after missing the podium in Lyon.

She ruled the same event in the 2013 world meet held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Also vying for top honors are national team coach Emerson Obiena in men’s pole vault, three-time Olympian and four-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Marestella Torres-Sunang in women’s long jump, and veteran long distance runner Lorna Vejano in women’s marathon.

Last May, the national masters team won 21 golds, 11 silvers and six bronzes in the 19th Asia Masters Athletics Championships held at the National Stadium in Singapore.

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