Stuart breaks SEA Games hammer throw record in golden heave
Mark Escarlote on Jun 09, 2015 12:15 PM
Caleb Stuart threw a distance of 65.63 meters to set a new standard in the event held at the state-of-the-art retractable Singapore National Stadium track oval Tuesday morning.
SINGAPORE --- One down, 11 more to go.
The Philippine athletics team captured their first gold medal – and the country’s eighth overall – courtesy of Filipino-American Caleb Stuart’s record-breaking heave in the men’s hammer throw event in the 28th Southeast Asian Games here.
Stuart threw a distance of 65.63 meters to set a new standard in the event held at the state-of-the-art retractable Singapore National Stadium track oval Tuesday morning.
The 24-year-old Stuart erased the old record of 62.23 held by defending Thai champion Tantipong Phetchaiya in his third attempt after a foul on his opening throw and a short 57.75m. distance in his second.
Petchaiya was relegated to the silver (62.12) while Malaysia’s Jackie Swiew Wong settled for the bronze (61.18).
“I’m happy that I came here and did what I had to do and win gold for our country,” said the soft-spoken former University of Califorinia-Riverside varsity team mainstay.
Stuart bared that his foot was just barely out of the ring when he fouled on his first attempt so to get into groove “I just made a simple throw in the second attempt so I could get my rhythm.”
With the muscular, 250-pound Stuart warmed up, he let loose a throw that gave the PHI athletics team, which predicted at least eight to 12 mints, a good bounce back after a failed attempt to take gold in the marathon event last Sunday.
Stuart’s personal record is 68.66m. last March in the Ben Brown meet in Los Angeles, USA.
Filipino veteran Arnel Ferreira, a four-time SEA Games titlist, placed fourth with a heave of 60.08m.
Stuart will also compete in the discus and shot put events.
There was other early good news on track with Jeson Ramil Cid, the reigning SEA Games decathlon king, kicking off his title-retention bid in the men’s 100-meter event with 10.82 seconds.
Fil-Am Eric Cray, the first Pinoy athlete to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, easily topped his heat in the men’s century run with a personal best of 10.28 meters to enter the finals.
Also advancing were Kayla Richardson and Princess Joy Griffey, who placed second in their respective heats in the women’s 100-meter run in 11.69 seconds, a personal best, and 11.83 seconds, respectively.
The Philippines is looking at its second track and field gold at 4:00 p.m. wen Ernest John Obiena sees action in the pole vault event.
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