14th ASEAN University Games – 110m High Hurdles

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a video clip of the 110m high hurdles race from the 14th ASEAN University Games held 2 years ago in Malaysia. My former teammate and training buddy, Mike Mendoza competed. Together with UST’s Robin Tuliao, the duo represented the Philippines in the sprint hurdles.

The three-time UAAP sprint hurdles champion was obviously outgunned by the rest of the field. 2005 Manila SEA Games Champion, Hassan Robani of Malaysia, topped all competitors with his 14.07s clocking. Abdul Hakeem placed second, stopping the clock at 14.45s – a new Singapore national record. Mendoza finished in 5th place (15.11s), close to his lifetime best of 14.97s. Tuliao crossed the tape last in 15.37s.

Read Reactiv’s article on the race

Read Singapore Sports Fan’s thoughts of Hakeem’s record breaking ways

Had I competed in the race and ran my almost three-year old best time of 15.52s, I would have finished a dismal 8th place – a full second behind Hakeem!

The Philippine sprint hurdling scene is so far behind regional standards that our collegiate hurdlers could hardly keep in step with our Southeast Asian neighbors. This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that Mendoza’s and Tuliao’s international exposure is quite minimal compared to, say, Hakeem’s (a veteran of the SEA Games and the Osaka and Berlin World Championships). Surely, going against the likes of Liu Xiang does wonders to one’s motivation!

With the current state of my fitness level, I estimate a probable low-16 second clocking, should I be made to run the sprint hurdles in short notice. I have no intention of falling back to 16 seconds again. It is a dismal time. I shall compete once I feel that I’m in shape to stop the clock at a high 14-second or low 15-second time – the state of my fitness level before my retirement. Anything slower is unacceptable.

In the coming months, I’ll be whipping my body into tip-top shape, in an effort to play catch up.

Video credit:

zolalfredo

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