Airman delivers gold no. 24 for PHI
Mark Escarlote on Jun 12, 2015 06:41 PM
Independence Day po ngayon ito ang pinakamagandang regalo ko sa bansa natin --- Christopher Ulboc Jr.
SINGAPORE --- Christopher Ulboc Jr. defended his 3000m. men’s steeple chase title in an exciting come-from-behind win Friday for the Philippines’ 24th gold medal overall in a fitting 117th Independence Day celebration gift for the country.
The 24-year-old Air Force personnel clocked in with a career-best 8:59.07 chasing and overtaking Vietnamese Tien San Pham in the final water jump before finally pulling away in the last 150 meters to run away with the win inside the Singapore National Stadium track oval.
“Sobrang saya po lalo na’t Independence Day natin ngayon,” said Ulboc, who show boated a bit in his breakaway by looking back at the chasing Vietnamese and raising both his arms as he crossed the finish line.
The single dad from Tangub City, Misamis Occidental removed his shirt and ran to the stands to pick up the Philippine flag, draping it to his back in jubilation.
“Independence Day po ngayon ito ang pinakamagandang regalo ko sa bansa natin,” added Ulboc, who took a while to approach the waiting Filipino media as he celebrated with supporters at the other side of the oval.
Pham, who overtook erstwhile leader Indonesian Atjong Tio Purwanto in the final 1000m., crossed the finish line with a time of 8:59.90. Purwanto, who slowly faded in the last lap, settled for bronze after clocking in at 9:06.41.
Veteran Filipino runner Rene Herrera finished at far 10th in the 11-man field (9:52.38).
It is the PHI fifth athletics gold medal after Fil-Americans Eric Cray’s victory in the century dash and 400m. hurdles; Kayla Robinson’s win in the women’s 100m. sprint and Caleb Stuart’s record-breaking gold in the men’s hammer throw.
In the Myanmar edition two years ago the athletics team brought home six mints -- including Ulboc's pet event.
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