Stuart, Obiena expected to nab gold for PH in Athletics

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 08, 2015 05:08 PM
Stewart, Obiena expected to nab gold for PH in Athletics
Can the Philippine athletics contingent strike gold?

SINGAPORE—Competitions in athletics go full swing on Tuesday with hammer thrower Caleb Stuart and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena expected to deliver two gold medals for Team Philippines in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Stuart will be competing alongside veteran countryman Arniel Ferrera in the men’s hammer throw final that gets going at 9:30 a.m. at the state-of-the-art Singapore National Stadium at the sprawling Sports Hub. They will vie against four other athletes, including the games record holder, Thailand’s Tantipong Phetchaiya.

But Stuart, with his season-best of 67.24m, looked ripe for the gold. Phetchaiya owns the Games record of 62.23m (Myanmar 2013) but only did 57.42 this season.

Stuart's other worthy opponent, Malaysia’s Jackie Siew Wong, owns a season- and personal beat 63.71m. Ferreira has not done well this season with 57.34m, a far cry from his personal best 62.62m.

Except for a Malaysian, Obiena has the six-athlete field under his command. His 5.21m, which he pulled off September last year, matched the Games record of 5.21m Thai Kreeta Sintawacheewa, an absentee in these Games, set in 2009 in Laos. Only Malaysia’s Iskandar Alwi (5.20m) posed the biggest threat to Obiena.

Also under the spotlight in Team Philippines’ campaign in athletics is Filipino-American Eric Cray, who recently qualified himself for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The former three-time All-American Cray will run the 100m heats scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

Kayla Richardson (11.78 seconds) and Princess Griffey (11.54s) will also run Tuesday’s heats of the women’s 100m where the Games record of 11.28s which Lydia de Vega set in Jakarta n 1987 remains unbroken. De Vega is now based here as an athletics coach for a local high school.

Also competing on Tuesday are Jesson Cid and Janry Ubas in decathlon and Mark Harry Diones in men’s triple jump.

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