Despite nursing a nagging injury, Janry Ubas still finished third in the men’s heptathlon event of the 10th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan late Sunday (Manila time).
Ubas tallied 5246 points to grab the bronze medal and shatter the national record of 4565 points that Jesson Ramil Cid tallied at the 2014 edition in Hangzhou, China.
Yuma Maruyama of Japan ruled the event with 5801 points while compatriot Keisuke Okuda tool the silver medal with 5497 points.
National team head coach Dario de Rosas told Daily Tribune that Ubas suffered Piriformis syndrome while they were on their way to the Central Asian country.
The Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle compresses your sciatic nerve and results in inflammation with long hours of sitting one of its main causes.
“We just did some stretching because getting here was so long. His piriformis became stiff while in the plane so he just did rest and recovery and we’re thankful he was able to do it on time,” De Rosas said in a telephone conversation.
“From the start, he was at the top three, he was even at No. 1 on the first day. Of course, we computed the score based on his weakness and the strengths of his opponents. We knew he had a chance because he was leading in the jumping events.”
Prior to landing on the medal podium, Ubas set a new national record for men’s long jump with 7.66 meters, surpassing the 7.64-meter record of Donovant Arriola in 2015.
Meanwhile, Leonard Gorospe set a new Philippine record in men’s high jump event at 2.15 meters.
He previously set the record at 2.14 meters to qualify for the final, where he placed seventh with Japanese trackster Ryoichi Akamatsu taking home the gold of the event after jumping 2.28 meters.
Despite the absence of big names such as pole vaulters EJ Obiena, Natalie Uy, and Hokket delos Santos as well as thrower William Morrisson and sprinter Kristina Knott, Filipino athletes who participated in the Asian competition still set new national indoor records.
Mark Harry Diones sets the first record in men’s indoor triple jump at 15.77 meters despite finishing the event in 10th place while Sarah Dequinan had three new national records in the women’s 60-meter hurdles (9.52 meters), women’s high jump (1.66 meters) and women’s pentathlon (3530 points).
The 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, who placed last in the nine-athlete pentathlon event, reset the Philippines’ new record in pentathlon while surpassing the 1.60-meter high jump record of Maureen Schrijvers in 2014 in Biñan, Laguna.
Filipino-American sprinter Eric Cray did not finish the men’s 400-meter event or participate in the men’s 60-meter hurdles due to a groin strain.
Local trackster John Cabang wasn’t able to get into the next round of the men’s 60-meter hurdles after placing 10th with 7.66 meters.
De Rosas said they will use this experience in preparation for the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia in May.
“We’re optimistic. We just need to continue training,” De Rosas said.
“The players need to keep their focus because they have a tendency to relax after a tournament. With this, they know it’s just the beginning.”