PH finishes 7th in Asian Masters Athletics

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The Philippines wrapped up its campaign with 21 golds, 11 silvers and six bronzes, good for seventh place in the 19th Asian Masters Athletics Championships held at the National Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.

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Veteran campaigner Erlinda Lavandia led the charge of the national masters team by winning three gold medals in the women’s 60-64 (shot put, javelin throw and discus throw) and an additional silver medal in the hammer throw event.

Former marathon queen Christabel Martes also pocketed three gold medals in the women’s 35-39 of the tournament organized by the Asian Athletics Association and supported by the International Athletics Associations Federation.

Winning two gold medals each were former Southeast Asian Games champions Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito (women’s 40-44), Eduardo Buenavista (men’s 35-39), Joebert Delicano (men’s 35-39) and Rene Herrera (men’s 35-39).

The other gold medalists were four-time SEA Games titlist Marestella Torres-Sunang (women’s 35-39), Danilo Fresnido (men’s 40-44), Arniel Ferrera (men’s 35-39), Antonio Chee Jr. (men’s 40-44), Emerson Obiena (men’s 50-54), the 4x100m relay of Torres, Bulauitan-Gabito, Mabelle Lozada and Mary Grace Milgar (women’s 35-39), and the 4x400m relay of Milgar, Martes, Victoria Calma and Unesie Pilas Pilas (women’s 35-39).

“It’s a good tuneup tournament for me. It’s really an honor competing with these veteran, multi-titled athletes and we’re happy that we were able to deliver medals for our country,” said Torres-Sunang, who will be seeing action in the 2016 Olympic Games athletics competition in August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil along with Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray.

The silver medals were from Ferrera, Milgar, Melinda Delos Reyes (women’s 40-44), Nenita Leal (women’s 50-54), Julius Sermona (men’s 35-39), Ma. Jeanette Obiena (women’s 45-49), Celma Hitalia (women’s 50-54) and Arnel Lobos (men’s 55-59) while the bronzes were delivered by Leal, Hitalia, Milgar, Herrera, Lorna Vejano and the 4x400m relay team (women’s 50-59).

India ruled the medal board with 75 gold, 69 silver and 72 bronzes followed by China (75-57-28), Japan (63-32-26), Chinese-Taipei (28-31-26), Sri Lanka (26-48-53) and Thailand (21-13-10).

Indonesia placed eighth with 17-13-24, Singapore in ninth (14-27-36), Malaysia in 10th (14-21-18), Hong Kong in 11th (12-13-17), Mongolia in 12th (9-16-8), Kazakhstan in 13th (6-6-6) and Iran in 14th (3-4-1).

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