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Thailand, Vietnam out to spoil PH title bid in SEAG athletics

Thailand and Vietnam loom as host Philippines’ biggest stumbling blocks in its quest to come up with a solid showing in the athletics competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games late this year.
“They are all over the place because they have the resources,” said Philippine Track and Field Association (Patafa) chief Philip Juico said on Monday, stressing that Europe has been the playground of choice of the Thais and Vietnamese.

PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

While Juico he is not sounding as though his athletes are bound to fail, the Filipino tracksters are neck-deep in training in line with the Patafa’s bid to perform credibly before hometown fans during the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 sportsfest.
Athletics will be played at the soon-to-be-completed stadium at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, where Juico is looking forward to hear the national anthem get played no less than six times with Italy-based pole vaulter EJ Obiena leading the charge.
Fil-Am sprinter Kristina Knott is also somebody Juico is eyeing to make heads turn alongside a bevy of homegrown and overseas talent.
Veteran long jumper Marestela Torres is still competing and is aiming for another feather in her cap although her bid to hone her skills may have been derailed by the non-issuance of a Japanese visa to former Asian champion.
“What more can you ask? She’s a three-time Olympian,” wondered Juico.
Instead of going to Japan, the Patafa just decided to see action in Malaysia instead.
“The key here in the final months going into the SEA Games is to keep them busy,” said Juico.
That is something Juico is guaranteeing with the team being booked to compete in Italy and Qatar.
Last time in Kuala Lumpur, the Philippines wound up with five gold medals.
In the 1980s, the Philippines achieved it biggest haul in athletics with 13. (NICK GIONGCO)

 

 

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  • Vietnam have not trained in Europe or America they are primarily building up a strong local program with quality internal competitions.