The national athletics team copped three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 2017 Thailand Open Track and Field Championships held at the Thammasat University Sports Complex in Bangkok, Thailand.
Edgardo Alejan, Michael del Prado, Joan Caido and Archand Christian Dimaano Bagsit wrapped up the country’s campaign on a high note as they bagged the men’s 4x400m relay gold medal in three minutes and 11.70 seconds on the final day of the competition.
They defeated powerhouse South Korea and host Thailand, which settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
Far Eastern University standout Janry Ubas earned the first gold medal on the opening day after topping the men’s long jump in 7.78m – surpassing the gold medal standard of 7.75m registered by Thai Supanara Sukhasvasti in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore.
Mark Harry Diones added another gold following his 16.13-meter showing in the men’s triple jump.
Aries Toledo chipped in one silver in the men’s decathlon with 7,127 points, breaking the Philippine record of 7,069 points owned by former SEA Games gold medalist Jesson Ramil Cid in the 2015 Philippine National Games.
The bronze medals were delivered by Rone Maglipay in the men’s triple jump (15.85m) and former Palarong Pambansa champion Patrick Unso in the men’s 110m hurdles (13.91 seconds).
Narcisa Atienza fell short in the women’s heptathlon after scoring 4,758 points. Wassana Winatho of Thailand (5,039), Norliyana Kamaruddin of Malaysia (4,992) and Gotchanya Kameeson of Thailand (4,856) took the top three spots.
Another Filipino bet Manuel Lasangue Jr. placed fifth in the men’s high jump (2.04m).
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) sent the Filipino tracksters to Thailand as part of their buildup for the 2017 SEA Games scheduled in August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Patafa aims to surpass the team’s five-gold, seven-silver, nine-bronze haul in the 2015 Singapore Games.
EMIL C. NOGUERA