Former Southeast Asian Games champion Marestella Torres claimed the women’s long jump crown on Thursday in the 2016 Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championship at the PhilSports track oval in Pasig City.
The 35-year-old Torres posted a 6.60-meter showing in her fifth attempt – a bit short of the 6.70m Olympic qualifying standard.
“This is a good start. Nakuha nang paunti-unti. Sa next competition, paghahandaan ko pa lalo,” said Torres, who got the chance to attain the Olympic standard in the Singapore Open and Asian Masters Championship this month.
Malaysian bets Noor Shahidatun Nada Mohd Zoki (6.24m) and Kirthana Ramamsamy (5.80m) finished second and third, respectively.
“I’m expecting that this would be the start of the impetus increase of those who are going to take up the sport of athletics. Hopefully, magkaroon ulit tayo ng boom,” Edward Kho, marketing and communications director of Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) told The Manila Times.
“Kapag dumadami practitioner ng sports, dumadami ‘yung selection mo na maging stars.
Hopefully, this is the start of the trend,” added Kho.
Meanwhile, reigning UAAP champion Angel Cariño notched 5.62 meters to win the gold in the girls’ long jump, while University of Santo Tomas’ Alyssa Andrade (5.38) and Carino’s schoolmate Mary Diesto (5.36) won silver and bronze, respectively.
Army standout Richard Salano overtook his former collegiate rival Rafael Poliquit in the last 300 meters, to win the gold in the men’s 5000-meter in 15 minutes and 32.2 seconds.
Poliquit was just 1.1 second behind Salano.
Fernando Reyes ruled the boys’ 5000-meter in 17:08.1, with Marven Realda behind by 1.3 seconds.
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Far Eastern University (FEU) bets Joida Gagnao and Catherine Bristol made a 1 -2 finish after registering 11:53.7 and 12:34.4, respectively.
FEU’s Joneza Mie Sustituedo took the top honors in the girls’ side with a record of 12:34.3.
Chiang Kai Shek’s Francis Edward Obiena won the gold in the boys’ pole vault with a clearance of 4.0 meters while Runrio’s Roi Saragena and San Sebastian’s Jon Emmanuel Reyes finished second and third, with 3.4 meters apiece.
Aira Teodosio of UST registered 37.25 meters in the girls’ discus throw with La Salle’s Jewel Manaig (26.49 meters) and Pasig’s Lemalyn de Leon (25.48 meters) finishing second and third, respectively.
The three-day meet organized by the PATAFA will pit the national athletics team against local competitors as well as bets from neighboring Asian countries including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guam, Brunei and Mongolia.