Eight athletes from the obstacle sports will train with members of Team USA in Colorado as part of their preparation for the Southeast Asian Games the country is hosting this year.
Al Agra, president of the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation, said that they are doing everything they can at POSF to prepare the athletes for the biennial event where obstacle sports – an Olympic sport – will be played for the first time in the SEA Games.
“They will train with the top OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) racers in the world for two weeks,” said Agra as he presented the 20-man national team training pool in a press briefing during the formal launch of Pretty Huge Obstacle at the Civic Center in SM Aura, Taguig City.
Of the 20 athletes, eight will go to Colorado and these are Jeff Reginio, Lito Divina, Nathaniel Sanchez and John Miranda for the men’s, and Sarah Jane Lim, Joan Omaga, Kaizen Dela Serna and Juvelle Pua for the women’s.
According to Agra, the 12 other members of the pool already finished their respective training in Singapore recently.
The other members of the training pool are Alex Rosario, Mervin Santiago, Racky Madorable, Kyle Antolin, Glorien Merisco, Anne Kathleen Santos, Rochelle Suarez, Klymille Keilah Rodriguez, Jose Mari de Castro Jr., Mark Rodelas, Ali Zandra Chongbian and Milky Mae Tajeras.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, who graced the occasion, said that he expects the POSF to win the gold medal in all six events of obstacle sports in the SEA Games.
According to Agra, six gold medals are doable.
The obstacle sports will have six events in the biennial SEA Games, 100meter individual for the male and female, 5km individual for male female and 400m mixed team event – team assist and team relay.
The 20 members of the training pool were chosen following a pair of Philippine Opens tournaments conducted last year, although only eight will be selected as part of the national team in the SEA Games.
“They have to go through four qualifying events so that we will choose the best,” said Agra.
The qualifying event will start in March, and then the second is in May, the third one in July and the last leg is in September, to be held in Clark for a simulation meet with other Southeast countries. (Waylon P. Galvez)