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Athletics hails team’s 2 SEAG records

Philippines' Ernest John Obiena competes in the men's pole vault final during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at the Morodok Techo National stadium in Phnom Penh on 8 May. Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP

PHNOM PENH—The Philippine athletics” team may have failed to match its five-gold medal haul in Vietnam last year, but still is a successful campaign with four golds and two Southeast Asian Games records shattered, according to national team coach Jojo Posadas.

Led by the record-smashing campaigns of Ernest John Obiena in pole vault and Janry Ubas in long jump, the Philippines finished with a 4-10-8 gold-silver-bronze harvest in Cambodia, a gold less but a silver medal better than in Hanoi.

“It still is a successful campaign for the Philippines in terms of quality, we have two games records broken here,” said Posadas during the last day of athletic competitions at the Morodok Tech National Stadium.

Obiena smashed his own pole vault mark of 5.46 meters with his new games’ record of 5.65 in a wet and wild showcase at the rain-drenched stadium.

Ubas, on the other hand, secured the long jump gold, his first-ever in the games since debuting for the national team in the 2015 Singapore edition, with a 7.85 jump.

He crushed the games’ mark with an 8.08, which he achieved in the decathlon, where he was also the silver finisher.

Meanwhile, Eric Cray solidified his status as the games’ greatest male track athlete with a sixth straight gold in the 200 meters hurdles with a 50.03 clocking, while the 4×400 team of Michael del Prado, Frederick Ramirez, Joyme Sequita and Umajesty Williams clinched athletics’ final gold with a clocking of 3:07.22.

“You have also to look at the SEA Games in terms of the future. I think we have one in javelin,” said Posadas, referring to silver medalist Gennah Malapit. “She’s the future.”

“Time will come, kapag nabigyan ito ng magandang break, ma-expose, ‘yung high-level training program, mamo-motivate ito tiyak,” added posadas of the 16-year-old Palarong Pambansa standout, who bettered her own Palaro mark of 45.5 to 49.55.

Other silver medalists of athletics were Arlan Arbois (Marathon), Sarah Dequinan (Heptathlon), Sonny Wagdos (5000m), Joida Gagnao (3000m SC), Williams (400m), Ronne Malipay (Triple Jump), Robyn Brown (400m Hurdles) and 4x400m Women – MaureenSchrijvers, Jessel Lumapas, Bernalyn Bejoy and Brown. Bronze medalists were Christine Hallasgo (Marathon), Aries Toledo (Decathlon), Evalyn Palabrica (Javelin Throw), Ramirez (400m), Natalie Uy (PV), Harry Diones (Triple Jump), John Tolentino (110m Hurdles) and the 4x400m Mixed of el Prado, Lamapas, Williams and Bejoy.

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