PH tracksters finish 2nd in Singapore Championship

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MEMBERS of the national pool showed their readiness for the coming Southeast Asian Games as Team Philippines ended its campaign by snatching second place overall at the close of the 77th Singapore Open Track and Field Championships at the Singapore Sports Hub.

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Edgardo Alejan claimed his second gold medal in the 4×400-meter relays, while steeplechaser Christopher Ulboc and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena got one apiece with clockings better than their personal bests.

This enabled to the Philippines to haul in six golds, four silvers and three bronze medals for second spot at the end of the two-day meet, which serves as a run-up to the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, also to be hosted by Singapore.

Overall, Indonesia ruled the meet with its 8-5-5 gold-silver-bronze haul, with Thailand coming in third (5-2-1) and Malaysia (4-6-2), fourth.

Alejan, who ruled the 400-meter run the other day, joined hands with Joan Caido, Cid and Archand Christian Bagsit in taking 4×400 meter relays in three minutes, 11.14 seconds.

Their clocking was above the bronze-medal time of the Malaysian squad which saw action in the 2013 SEA Games (3:15.06), and is 2 seconds close to the Team Philippines’ 3:09.11 gold-medal performance two years ago.

Ulboc topped the 3000-meter steeplechase in 8:56.8, some 5 seconds off the 9:01.59 feat he took during his gold-medal run in the Myanmar Games.

Obiena came near the Philippine record he set last year when he cleared 5.2 meters in the men’s pole vault.

It was higher than the 5.15 meters, which Thai rival Kreeta Sintawacheewa submitted when he won the SEA Games gold in 2013.Sintawacheewa was around and settled for third with his 4.8 meter feat, with compatriot Purachong Porranot taking the silver in 5.1 meters.

In other results, Junrey Bano, was fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.003 seconds, with Taiwanese Chen Chieh and Yu Chiah Hsuan taking a 1-2 finish in 51.4 and 52.04 seconds, respectively.

Bano’s SEA Games foe, Andrian of Indonesia, took the bronze in 52.96 seconds.

Harry Diones earned a silver in the triple jump with a 16.11-meter clearance, with Kongnil Varunyoo of Thailand winning the gold in 16.16 meters.

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