Tag Archives: Southeast Asian 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. (:

Henry Dagmil takes the 10-for-10 Quiz

Henry Dagmil first came to national prominence at the 2004 Philippine National Open. The Mapua Institute of Technology alumnus, then 22 years old, eclipsed the long-standing record of 1936 Berlin Olympian Nino Ramirez. Dagmil flew to a distance of 7.83m in the long jump, beating the 68-year old record by 18 centimeters.

Dagmil at the 2012 Philippine National Games. (Photo by Ed Karell Gamboa/Pinoymiler/Moriel Carreon)

Since that definitive moment, Dagmil has been the Philippines top male long jumper, complementing Marestella Torres’ sterling record in the women’s event. He has competed at the world’s highest stage, representing the country at the Berlin and Daegu World Championships and at the Beijing Olympics.

Click here to view Henry’s photos with Darya Klishina

Dagmil has amassed an impressive collection of regional-level medals. In an international career spanning almost one decade, the Filipino champion had won two Southeast Asian Games long jump titles (2005, 2007), on top of silver (2011) and bronze (2009) medals. In front of hometown fans at the 2005 Manila SEA Games, Dagmil teamed up with the 100m/200m national record holder Ralph Soguilon, Arnold Villarube and Albert Salcedo, to win a 4x100m relay silver, setting a new national mark in the process.

Click here to read more articles about Henry Dagmil on Pinoymiler

Video from Jad Adrian

The two-time SEA Games long jump champion has a lifetime’s best of 7.99m from 2008.  However, the eight meter barrier – the mark of a truly world-class long jumper – has continued to elude Dagmil by the smallest of margins. Now 31-years old, Dagmil has until the 8th of July to go beyond the 8.10m Olympic “B” standard – and secure a ticket to London.

Dagmil has the knack for the unexpected. Prior to his record-breaking feat in 2004, he was actually left out of the national team because of injury. “When others might give up he let that catalyst make him stronger,” said Andrew Pirie, the Ernie Baron of Philippine athletics and Dagmil’s close friend.   “[Dagmil] came back in 2004 to wipe out the 68 year old national record in the long jump.”

1.) How did you get started with athletics?

[In] Grade4, I started [competing in the] 50m and long jump. I was 10 years old.

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

The most memorable is [when] I  represented [the Philippines at the] Olympic Games.

3.) What is your life long dream?

To be successful in life, jump [beyond the] eight-meter barrier. And to be a national coach [who can] produce a world class athlete.

4.) Let’s lighten up a bit! What would you rather wear and why? Short shorts or tights?

I like Mizuno. [It looks] good on me. I prefer tights.

5.) What is your favorite sports movie?

Sports movie? Yung mga nagbibigay inpirasyon. Kahit anong movie basta maluluha ako. hehehe [I like inspiring movies. Any kind of film that makes me cry].

6.) What’s the best pump-up song of all-time?

Kahit anong song basta inspiring [Any song. As long as it’s inspiring].

7.) If you could spend the rest of your days at any place in the world, which place would you choose?

I’ll spend my time with [my] wife and my kids, because I’ve spent [half of my life] on my athletic career.

8.) What do you do in your free time?

Rest, sleep, watch a movie, call my wife [and] my son on the phone, [and surfing the] net.

9.) Name three things you just can’t live without:

Money, phone, and laptop.

10.) What advice would you give to the young athletes of today?

I want them [to] dream. Ask the Lord’s [help], to be patient and willing to sacrifice [a] normal life to become an Olympian.  [Not to] be a fool even [if] you [achieve the dream of being an] Olympian.

Additional Links:

IAAF biography

All-Athletics profile

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

Unso Smashes Philippine 110m High Hurdles Record

Patrick Unso ran a lifetime’s best of 14.58s to finally better Alonzo Jardin’s 14.75s Philippine record. Unso, the youngest son of Renato Sr.(the current 400m LH record holder and the former 110mHH record holder), wound up sixth in a quality field composed of former SEA Games champions Hassan Robani (MAS), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (MAS) and Jamras Rittedet (THA).

Read: “Alonzo Jardin: The Hurdling Artist” here

View the complete results

The fast-finishing Rittedet, the 2009 SEA Games champion, was too classy for Rayzam (13.86s), the surprise 2007 champion. The Thai was half a stride ahead of the Malaysian, stopping the clock at a new games record of 13.77s. Robani (14.14s)  had to dig deep to edge out Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Quang (14.19s) for the bronze.

The 19-year old Unso, still a junior under IAAF rules, was the youngest amongst the top six. As such, the newly-minted Philippine senior record holder is also the junior record holder, over the official 1.067m high barriers. Those who finished ahead of the Filipino are all grizzled veterans. The troika of Robani, Rayzam and Rittedet – the region’s best 110m high hurdlers – all have major championship experience. Pach, in contrast, is on his first ever SEA Games.

Read Jad Adrian’s account of the 110m high hurdles final here

With all due respect to Jardin, it was about time someone broke 14.75s. For far too long, the local hurdling scene has been left in the dustbins of insignificance. Pach Unso’s sixth place finish, while light-years away from a SEA Games podium finish and the Olympic “B” standard, augurs well for Philippine sprint hurdling. Perhaps the young Unso is the spearhead of the new generation of faster, more competitive Filipino sprint hurdlers.

Once Pach’s record is officially ratified, father and son will have their names engraved as reigning senior Philippine record holders for the low hurdles and the high hurdles, respectively. The young Unso also holds the 110m high hurdles (0.99m) national junior record.

*Special thanks to Jad Adrian Washif and Andrew Pirie for the timely updates.

Glory Days

The ageless Emerson Obiena uploaded an old photo to his Facebook account a while back. Judging from the designs of the Philippine team uniform, I figured that the picture was taken sometime during the early to mid-1990’s.

Photo from Emerson Obiena

Coach Emer’s subtitles confirmed my hypothesis. The bespectacled Filipino-Chinese athlete on the left is non-other than Coach Emer himself, the founder of the Philippine Pole Vault Club and a many-time international campaigner for the Philippines. On the rightmost side of the photo is Bruce Ventura, the Philippine national record holder for the shot put at 15.83m. Then Senator Joey Lina is at the center, beside the spunky-looking Edward Lasquette, the pole vault national record holder at 5.00m.

Obiena is the only holdover from that by-gone era. In his late 30’s, the father of two is still the best Filipino pole vaulter. Coach Emer is a two-time SEA Games Pole Vault silver medalist (1993 and 1999). He has a personal best of 4.95m, set during the 1999 National Open.

Obiena’s 4.93m clearance (Taipei, 2008)

The Herculean Bruce Ventura won silver in the shot during the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore. The Filipino-American Lasquette, who set the now 18-year old Philippine record in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, is a three-time SEA Games champion (1991, 1993 and 1995).

Filipino SEA Games Medalists since 1991

During the early years of my track days, I could barely find write-ups about the Gintong Alay days. I was fortunate to stumble upon an old book, Philippine Sports Greats, which featured a lengthy piece on the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics High Jump bronze medalist, Simeon Toribio. Articles about the resurgence of Philippine athletics during the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s are also hard to come by. Looking for actual clips of those storied races online is an impossibility! And don’t expect our sensationalist TV networks to air replays of past Philippine track & field campaigns.

Hence, I had to make do with meager competition results available in the world wide web, taking pride in the fact that a handful of my compatriots had distinguished themselves in international competition. Yell Carreon’s insightful interviews with Hector Begeo and John Lozada and Zytrexx’s nostalgic historical piece on Toribio and Miguel White are rare informative examples.

It’s quite unfortunate how Filipinos today hardly even remember the sporting heroes of our past. Aside from big names like Lydia de Vega-Mercado and Elma Muros-Posadas, most of our local athletics greats have been almost forgotten by the very people – the very country – they fought so hard for.

If archived footage or even detailed write-ups somehow find its way into the mainstream, perhaps a new generation of Filipino athletes – not just track & field athletes – will be inspired by those feats of greatness to do better than their forebears. Indeed, Filipino sports has so much more to offer.

Video credit:

mjuo1969

%d bloggers like this: