Curtain call: Vertek looking at retirement after SEA Games
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2015 08:40 PM
Itong laban ko na ito ngayon kapag hindi ako nagka-medal siguro time na nga siguro na (magretiro). Talagang mahina na --- Eduardo Buenavista
SINGAPORE --- It could be his last international stint.
Long distance runner Eduardo ‘Vertek’ Buenavista will base his decision of hanging his running shoes or not in his performance Sunday morning in the 28th Southeast Asian Games men’s marathon event here.
The 36-year-old marathoner, who missed out the 2013 edition of the meet in Myanmar, said last Friday that a non-podium finish will mean a curtain call for him in the international scene.
“Itong laban ko na ito ngayon kapag hindi ako nagka-medal siguro time na nga siguro na (magretiro). Talagang mahina na,” said the two-time Olympian and three-time SEA Games gold medalist.
“Siguro local competition na lang (ako sasali). Sa abroad siguro wala na,” he added.
But Buenavista is confident he will deliver one of the eight to 12-gold medals hauls projected from the Filipino athletics team.
The five-foot runner clocked in 2:24:11 in the Hong Kong marathon last month and is one of the favorite in the event where he is also pitted against teammate Rafael Poliquit Jr.
“Sa ngayon sa latest na standing (sa Southeast Asia) sa marathon ako yung no. 1 ngayon pero sisikapin ko pa rin na manalo tayo,” said Buenavista, whose personal best is 2:18:44.
Buenavista wanted to improve on his season’s fastest finish.
“Gusto ko ibaba ang time ko na nakuha ko sa Hong Kong para mas malapit tayo sa medal,” he added.
Considered to be his toughest rivals are Thailand’s Boonthung Srisung and Hamdan Syafril of Indonesia.
Asked if the athletics team can fulfill their total gold medal promise, Buenavista is very confident they can.
“Sa palagay ko kaya sir, malakas naman ang iba nating kasama pero sa akin ang gusto ko lang ‘yung sa marathon makuha natin,” Buenavista said. “Kasi tayo naman talaga ang malakas sa marathon, ang Pilipinas.”
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