HANGZHOU, China — The Philippine men’s team reset its day-old national record in the finals of the 4×400-meter relay, but it was not enough to finish in the medal picture the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium here on Wednesday night.
Umajesty Williams, Michael del Prado, Joyme Sequita and Frederick Ramirez ran a combined 3:04.89 in the finals to smash the 3:06.15 national mark they set the previous night.
But that was only good for 5th in the 4×400 championship run topped by India, with a clocking of 3:06.60.
Qatar (3:02.05) and Sri Lanka (3:02.55) emerged second and third, respectively.
The Filipinos’ performance was also behind their Southeast Asian rival Thailand, which finished fourth with a time of 3:04.23 as it had its revenge of sorts on the Philippines, which unseated the Thais for the title in the Cambodia SEA Games.
First runner Williams had the best performance from the group with 43.21 seconds, followed by final runner Del Prado, son of athletic legend Isidro, with a 45.79. Sequita ran 47.02, while Ramirez had the weakest show of 48.87 as the second runner.
Meanwhile, the women’s 4×400 Philippine team of Fil-heritage athletes Lauren Hoffman, Robyn Brown, Angel Frank and Maureen Maureen Schrijvers also finished 5th in the finals with a clocking of 3:40.78.
Bahrain, anchored by 400m hurdles champion Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya, emerged champ with a time of 3:27.65, with India (3:27.85) and Sri Lanka (3:30.88) placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The Philippine athletics’ team, whose participation here was made possible by the Philippine Sports Commission, delivered the contingent’s first and only gold medal so far in the games, courtesy of world’s no. 2 pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena.