National athletics team vows readiness to deliver
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 05, 2015 07:20 PM
Philippine athletics bets start their campaign on Saturday in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
SINGAPORE -- Mission possible.
Seasoned campaigner Arniel Ferrera expressed readiness to contribute significantly to the gold-medal rush of Team Philippines when the athletics competition of the 28th Southeast Asian Games gets going Saturday at the National Stadium here.
A decorated thrower who already won four gold medals in the regional stage, Ferrera said winning their projected eight to 12 gold medals is very doable, especially with a solid cast of young guns backing them up.
Ferrera, of course, is referring to Caleb Stuart -- the celebrated Filipino-American thrower who is billed as the future of Philippine athletics.
Stuart is favored to win three gold medals from his three events; hammer, discuss and shot put throws. And behind him is Ferrera, who admitted that Father Time is slowly catching him up.
"Mas happy ako na makuha ni Caleb ang gintong medalya kesa sa taga ibang bansa," said the 34-year old Ferrera. "Nag-usap kami kanina at sinabi ko sa kanya ang mga dapat tandaan dito sa SEA Games. Ang throwing, technical masyado yan. Kailangan pa din ng guidance. Kaya kahit papano tinuturo ko sa kanya ang mga techniques na alam ko."
Under the leadership of new Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico, athletics is one of the sports to watch out in this 11-nation tournament.
Two years ago in Myanmar, the national tracksters lived above expectations as they won six gold medals, signaling the re-birth of the sport in the country.
This year, Juico vowed to surpass what they achieved in the previous SEA Games.
And Ferrera and the athletes are ready to deliver.
"Eight gold medals ang pinakamahina namin, kayang kaya yan. Kung mahihigitan pa nga namin ang 12 gold medals, mas maganda," Ferrera said. "Mga atleta kami and we live with the pressure. Kapag walang pressure hindi maganda. Basta ang goal namin is eight to 12 gold medals at tutupadin namin yan kahit anong mangyari."