Torres awaits final green light to Rio

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Sports patron James Lafferty, the force behind athletics’ Adopt-an-Olympian Program raises the arms of long jump queen Marestella Torres and pole vault sensation Ernest John “EJ” Obiena. Lafferty is helping Torres and Obiena, both national record holders and Southeast Asian Games gold medal bets, fulfill their dreams of securing berths at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Contributed photo

Sports patron James Lafferty, the force behind athletics’ Adopt-an-Olympian Program raises the arms of long jump queen Marestella Torres and pole vault sensation Ernest John “EJ” Obiena. Lafferty is helping Torres and Obiena, both national record holders and Southeast Asian Games gold medal bets, fulfill their dreams of securing berths at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Contributed photo

Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) President Philip Ella Juico said the association is just awaiting confirmation from the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) to formalize Marestella Torres-Sunang ‘s entry into the Rio Games in August.

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“We just received the certified results of the women’s long jump at the Kazakhstan Open and it shows Marestella Torres-Sunang leapt to a distance of 6.72 meters with the wind recorded at +0.8, well below the legal limit of 2.0 meters/second,” said Juico.

The four-time Southeast Asian Games long jump champion Torres-Sunang reached the Olympic qualifying mark when she ruled the 2016 Kazakhstan National Athletics Championships held in Almaty.

The 35-year-old Torres-Sunang posted 6.72 meters on her sixth and final attempt, surpassing the 6.70m mark needed to qualify for the Olympic Games scheduled on August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was Torres-Sunang’s third straight gold-medal feat following her first-place finishes in a tournament in Kyrgyzstan with 6.47m and the Kosanov Memorial also in Kazakhstan with 6.52m.

Torres-Sunang, the 2009 Asian Championship gold medalist, is now ranked 28th in the world.

“It’s a legal jump and she has surpassed the Rio Olympics entry mark of 6.70m. We’re now waiting for IAAF confirmation and we assume she’ll be in the list of official entries,” added Juico.

The IAAF will announce the official list of Rio Games qualifiers and wild cards on July 12.

Torres-Sunang will be the third Filipino trackster to gain an Olympics berth as Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray (men’s 400m hurdles) and Mary Joy Tabal (women’s marathon) have already earned tickets to the Games.

Torres-Sunang saw action in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and 2012 edition of the Games in London, England.

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