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Big boost for athletics as Fil-Moroccan joins team

Said Germali, a Fil-Moroccan from the US, was given the green light by the Philippine Track and Field Association (Patafa) to compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Patafa president Philp Juico and secretary general Agapito Capistrano on Sunday met Germali, 22, and his parents, father Adam and mother Juliet, after the Portland-based runner topped the 1500 meters during the weekly Patafa relays at the newly-built Track Stadium in Capas, Tarlac.
Personnel from the Patafa were on hand to discuss with the Germalis their travel arrangements for the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 SEAG.
Germali, who blew into town on Thursday night, plans to return about a week before his event to get acclimatized.
When he gets back to the US, Germali will take part in races, notably in cross-country to help him toughen up for the SEAG.
Germali did 3:59 in Tarlac but made the assurance that he can do a lot better since his personal-best is 3:50.
“It is cross country season and I will be focusing on that and hopefully win the (US) national title,” said Germali, whose mother hails from Pangasinan.
The SEAG winner of the 1500 in 2017 –Duong Van Thai of Vietnam – clocked 3:51.44 in Kuala Lumpur.
“In a faster race, I think I can do 3:40,” said Germali, who believes competing in cross country will tough him up for the SEAG.
“Cross country helps a lot developing the volume. Training is a lot longer. It takes a lot of patience. It makes it easier to run the 1500 eventually when you start tapering but I think it also helps with toughness because it is a lot harder.” (Nick Giongco)