Tag Archives: SEA Games

2007 Southeast Asian Games – Men’s 400m Dash Final

The 400m dash was my first track event. I took up the quarter-mile during the heyday of Ernie Candelario in the early oughts. Even if I eventually shifted focus to the sprint hurdles, the 400m dash has always been my favorite sprinting event.

Here’s a clip culled from old VHS tapes. The Philippines’ Julius Nierras nips Thailand’s Jukkaip Pojaroen for the 2007 Southeast Asian Games 400m dash title. Nierras stopped the clock at 46.56s, almost a tenth of second ahead of the Thai, thanks to the former’s Herculean effort in the last fifteen meters.

This was the Philippines’ fourth consecutive SEA Games 400m gold, starting from Ernie’s back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2003 and Jimar Aing’s triumphant race in Manila back in 2005.

Results (from Jad Adrian):

  1. Julius Nierras PHI 46.56
  2. Jukkathip Pocharoen THA 46.64
  3. Zaiful Zainal Abidin MAS 46.75
  4. Amran Raj Krishnan MAS 47.24
  5. Ahmed Sakeh Sumarsono INA 47.45
  6. Ernie Candelario PHI 48.09
  7. Suppachai Chimdee THA 48.42
  8. Yan Karubaba INA 48.72

Video Credit:

National Broadcasting Network

10-for-10: Katherine Kay Santos

Despite the peaks and troughs of the Philippine athletics scene, Filipino women have competed with distinction in the long jump for more than two decades. Since Elma Muros-Posadas’ maiden long jump win in the 1989 edition of the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines had fallen short of the title only once. The last Filipino to win an Asian Games medal was the evergreen Muros-Posadas in 1994. Marestella Torres emphatic win at the 2009 Asian Championships was the most high-profile achievement of a Filipino track & field in recent memory.

Photo from PATAFA/Roselyn Hamero

Katherine Kay Santos is poised to become the next best Filipino long jumper. The Baguio-based Santos is currently fifth in the Women’s Long Jump All-Time List (compiled by Andrew Pirie). She has a personal best of 6.25m, which she set en route to winning the 2011 Southeast Asian Games bronze medal. Illustrious names like Torres (6.71m), Muros-Posadas (6.56m), Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito (6.56m), and Lydia De Vega-Mercado (6.27m) are all ahead of Kat in the all-time list.

Santos is gifted with both raw flat out speed, having won several medals in national-level competition, and good jumping technique. The 22-year old is on the brink of barging into the big leagues. Although it’s a tad too early to say that she’s Torres’ heir apparent, the statistics show that the University of Baguio student is the Philippines’ second-best long jumper. Kat is actually a protege of Bulauitan-Gabito, herself a SEA Games gold medalist and an Olympian.

As she gains experience from regular exposure in the regional athletics circuit, it will only be a matter of time before Kat Santos makes her mark.

1. How did you get started with athletics?

When I was in 5th grade I wanted… to be part of the athletes in our school. But eventually the coach in our school hesitated to choose me. I didn’t know why [she did that]. But in [the] 6th grade I [pushed] myself to join [the] try outs.  I proved that I can be one of them [the varsity athletes] and [the coach eventually] chose me.

2. What’s the most memorable moment of your track career?

Most memorable? Of course the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. Maybe because it was my first time to compete in [the] SEA Games. [I had] mixed emotions.. (;  In my 1st attempt to jump I was really shaking. Suppeeeeer­rr. Hehe.

3. What’s your life-long dream?

To be an Olympian. ‘Diba? Sarap ng pakiramdam maging part man lang ng Olympics [It’s a great feeling to become part of the Olympics].

4. Name three other sports you’d love to do aside from athletics?

The 1st is synchronized swimming. I love watching it. [And also] sports climbing [and] sumo haha joke! The last is biking [cycling].

5. Who is your sporting idol?

My idol is DARYA KLISHINA. Ganda na [She’s beautiful], [a] model, and magaling pa [Darya excels] in our same event which is [the] long jump.

6. What do you when you are not on the track competing or training?

At home doing household chores, kulitan [playing] with my bunsong kapatid [youngest sibling] and my cousins na nakatira sa house namin [who live in our house], or sleep until noon… para makabawi sa pagod ng training [to recover from the exhaustion brought about by training].

7. What is your favorite pre-race pump-song?

Kahit ano lang [Anything]. Haha. Usually mga new ones na song [I usually listen to the new songs]… yung mga nauuso [the ones that are popular]! Gangnam Style. Haha lately yun!

8. Do you have a pre-competition ritual?

I just watch my diet mga [around] 2-3 weeks before the competition para magaan sa laro [so that I’ll feel light during the competition]. Kasi [Because] during preparation for such competition nagloload ako, so mabigat ako kapag sa [I bulk up in] training para makabuhat ng [to be able to lift the] target pounds pag nag weweigths training ako [in my training program].

9. Describe your dream vacation.

I want to be in a large and famous cruise ship and travel around the world. Astig diba? [Isn’t that cool?] (: Sarap mangarap, libre eh. [I love daydreaming. It’s free.]

10. Name three things you can’t live without.

Food! Water! Shelter! Siyempre [Of course, my] family ko. Daming money! And yung lifelong partner pag dumating na. I have no need for gadgets. (:

Malaysian Sprint Hurdling

I’ve always been an admirer of Malaysian hurdling. From Nur Herman Majid, Hassan Robani, Moh Siew Wei and Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, Malaysians have figured consistently amongst Southeast Asia’s elite sprint hurdlers. For a Filipino hurdler, their combined hurdling curricula is awe-inspiring. Hence. I’ve often wondered about the secret to success of our Southeast Asian neighbors.

Perhaps the Men’s 4x100m relay holds the answer.

Read Jad Adrian’s article on the 4x100m relay here

The Indonesian dug deep in the last 50m of the final leg, overcoming a sizable lead by Singapore to wrest the gold. Tasting victory, the Indonesian dove like Greg Louganis to win the race by one-hundredth of a second.

The Malaysian anchor hurdling his Indonesian counterpart (Video grab from Singapore Athletics)

While watching the highly-entertaining, closely fought race, the sight of the Malaysian anchor man hurdling the fallen Indonesian last runner brought forth expressions of awe! A collision between sprinters would surely have dire consequences. Thanks to the Malaysian’s quick reaction – and suave, impromptu hurdling – disaster was averted.

This is what you call SPRINT HURDLING!

Video credit:

Thoughts on the 26th SEA Games

I’ve been reading about the Philippine athletics results  in the ongoing 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia. To date, Filipinos have won only two gold medals, courtesy of Marestella Torres (Gold, Women’s Long Jump) and Rene Herrera (Gold, Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase).  Other defending champions did not fare as well as Torres and Herrera, with the likes of Arniel Ferrera (Silver, Hammer Throw), Rosie Villarito (Silver, Javelin Throw) and Henry Dagmil, To the casual observer, the initial reaction would be one of disappointment. After all, two gold medals is way off the target of six set by the NSA president, Mr. Go Teng Kok.

Come to think of it, we’ve been relying on these marquee names for the past decade. Most of our top athletes are in their thirties. The sport demands much from one’s body. Hence, it is unsurprising to see the likes of former champions win silver medals, instead of golds. Considering the fact that athletics in the Philippines is a fringe sport, our sporting heroes should be lauded. Aside from lucrative, mainstream sports, being a Filipino athlete isn’t exactly the most lucrative of careers.

Despite missing the fighting target, it’s good to see young turks like Melvin Guarte and Archand Bagsit excelling in regional competition. The 20-year old Bagsit snatched the silver medal in the 400m dash, thanks to a blistering finish, on top of his 4x400m relay silver. Guarte, still a junior, won silver medals in the 800m and 1500m runs, setting national senior and junior records in the former.

Regardless of how disorganized our local athletics scene is, the exploits of our young athletes speak volumes about the enormous potential of Philippine track & field. Should the ills of athletics and Philippine sports be miraculously cured, expect the Filipino athlete excel not just in the Southeast Asian Games, but also in the world stage.

*Special thanks to Yell Carreon and Andrew “The Ernie Baron of Philippine Athletics” Pirie for the SEA Games updates

Additional Links:

Pinoymiler’s SEA Games articles

Jad Adrian’s SEA Games write-ups

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