PSC-National Games Review and Discussion (rev 2)
PSC/Philippine National Games Full Review
(May 28-31) Dumaguete
By Pirie Enzo
Discussion Points? Ways to Improve the National Championships??
(Feel Free to comment on the above suggestions welcome)
1. Have more lavish Medal Ceremonies in between events. It instills upon the athletes a sense that meet has more importance.
2. Have lead up meets on the calendar, maybe even a National Grand Prix Series.
3. Eliminate the 2 athletes per event per team rule as this limits participation
4. Divide the meet
a) Perhaps conduct a separate National Junior Championships as this allows Juniors to compete against Seniors at the actual National Championships increasing participation
b) have a separate Relay meet which allows athletes to focus energy on individual events at the main Championships.
5. Advertise and promote the event a lot earlier
6. Find Private Sponsors to help boost the event
7. Have a more enthusiastic commentator who actually commentated during the event. Rather just reading out the event numbers and outdated/incorrect records on the program sheet.
8. marshaling for events on time
9. Incentives cash or prize for National Junior and National Records
The Philippine National Games (PNG) is a multi-sport event competition, including the sports of Track and Field (also known as Athletics). It follows the same format as the annual Palarong Pambansa (which caters for elementary and high schools) and the now redundant Philippine Olympic Festivals which ran from 2006 to 2007 (another project of the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC).
The PNG is funded and endorsed by the PSC. Although the project was reborn in 2011 in Bacolod as the 1st PSC-National Games. The event had actually been staged previously in 1997 in Cebu. The Second National Games was held this May in Dumaguete. This article will focus on the Track and Field program.
It began of as a complicated finalization as at the beginning of the year the PSC mentioned they would have the PNG May 28-31 in Dumaguete. However due to the recent earthquake in Dumaguete there was scares that the repair of the facilities to host the events would not be ready in time and made lead to cancellation or postponement of the event. In the mean time the PATAFA was preparing to hold the National Open May 17-21 in Santa Cruz Laguna. This led to confusion in the track community. Would their infact be two national meets in the space of less than a month?. After much twists and turns with the event organizers the mayor of Dumaguete finally teamed up with the Governor of Negros to eventually host the event. Thus the National Open in Santa Cruz was postponed to a much later date.
Track and Field at the National Games
Below are reviews summaries based on the daily reviews of the games by Pinoymiler Blog Founder Moriel Carreon
Their were some flashes of brilliance which could be expected at the National Games with Junior Triple Jumper Felyn Dolloso (Hypersports) overcoming several obstacles to break the National Triple Jump girls (19 and under) record (12.55m) (read about it here) and Thrower Loralie Amahit (Baguio) breaking the women’s record in Hammer.
However partly due to reasons listed in the above paragraph (event issues), attendance was at an all time low for National Track and Field meets with only around 300 athletes attending.
Several University teams that had prepared for Laguna had decided to skip the meet, while only a small group of athletes from Taipei served as the only foreign entries to this meet. (The Sabah team who are regular annual attenders did not make the trip this year as it clashed with the Taipei meet held a few days before).
The declining number of entries was high lighted further as concern in the women’s sprints event with 2-4 entries in the women’s 100,200,400,100 Hurdles and 400 Hurdles.
The eventual winner of the mens division was the well-organized team of Run for Change which focussed solely on the mens division, whereas Hypersports operating on a smaller budget finished second in the mens and won the girls division (with only five girls), Laguna won the women’s division.
Distance: Mens 800m Show Down
The most highly anticipated race of the meet was the Mens 800m between SEA Games Silver Medalist (800/1500) Mervin Guarte (Laguna) and the two Hypersports runners Paul Billones and Wenlie Maulas of Hypersports. Who had run some fast 400m times coached by Sam Goldberg leading up to the games. Read about it here. Guarte held off the fast finishining Wenlie Maulas 1.52.19 to 1.52.92 with Billones getting the bronze.
The Womens 5k was won by Floredeliza Donos (Baguio) in a ’blanket’ finish of 17.44.84 edging Mary Grace Delos Santos (Cebu) by .01s, with national team member Jhoann Banayag (Laguna) settling for bronze. SEA Games Champion Rene Herrera had a comfortable win of 9:05.84 in the Mens Steeple Chase. Veteran Buenavista won a tactical 5k race from fellow veteran Julius Sermona. With Sermona winning the 10k.
SEA Games Veterans Shine
Meanwhile in other events, SEA Games Gold and Bronze medalists Marestella Torres and Kat Santos leapt 6.58m and 6.19m to place 1-2 in the Womens Long Jump. The consistent Torres has already made the olympic B Standard with her 6.71m Long Jump the only athlete to do so in at least the last 12 years. Four time SEA Games gold medalist Arniel Ferrera (PAF-Hypersports) ruled the Men’s Hammer Throw with a throw of 55.48m and Discus. And former sea games gold medalist Rosie Villarito won the Javelin in 48.42m. Jhoann Banayag easily won the 10k in 37:36.27
In the Mens Hurdles the much billed showdown between National Record Holder Patrick Unso (TMS) and former training pool member/Taipei based Robin Darwin Tuliao (who ran #2 fastest time of all time, read about it here). Tuliao unable to make the Games but expected to show at the National Open this Month. Unso won easily with a season leading time of 14.65 in the 110m Hurdles. While his junior counterpart Michael Man-ay clocked a fast 15.06 in the heats but was beaten in the finals.
Hypersports, 18-year-old Michelle Loterte easily won the Girls Hurdles in a personal best of 15.15 over a second ahead of her nearest rivals. With the retirements of National Record Holder Sheena Atilano and UAAP Record Holder Zara Dela Virgo, and many of the what remained of the countries current best senior women hurdlers choosing to skip the meet the field was rather lacking in the womens Hurdles.
Meanwhile in the Mens Hurdles Junrey Bano comfortably won in 52.02s.
Open Womens Sprints Lacking participation
The same could be said for the women’s sprints like last year with only four in the women’s 100m which was won by Katherine Khay Santos (Baguio) 12.17, Hanelyn Loquinto (Laguna) 12.38 and Krizia Leah Apelar (HyperSports) 12.45.
Womens 100m Final (photo by Ed Karrel Gamboa)
Fil-am Apelar came back to win a two woman final in 25.04 from hypersport team-mate Lorna Olarita. While Olarita (PRISAA Champion) also placed second to Keizel Pedrina (Hypersports) who ran a 56.88 PB in a very windy final.
Meanwhile Pedrina placed second to Josie Malacad (Laguna, 1:02.36 PB) in what was also a three woman final. (Photo by Ed Karrel Gamboa)
The declining number of female sprinters participating at this meet should be of great concern as looking back to 2000 women’s 100-200-400 used to have heats, semis and finals. With this year the women’s 400m having an all time low of two entries which would have almost forced the event to not feature at all at the games.
Meanwhile in the Juniors numbers were high with UAAP sprint treble Champion Jennyrose Rosales (12.60) claiming the National Junior title ahead of Palaro Champion Maureen Emily Schrivjers (12.68) and Batang Pinoy Champion Mary Anthony Diesto. Rosales also claimed the double in the Womens 200m (25.60).
Hypersports 4×100 lineup of Olarita, Apelar, Pedrina and Riezel Buenaventura won the women’s relays. Despite the fact this was more of a B Team lineup as top sprinters Princess Joy Griffey and Luville Dato-on where not able to make appearances. The girls all-star lineup of Loterte, Rosales, Angco and Schrivjers had a complete victory in the girls clocking (49.36) While in the Mens Division the Laguna Team ruled the mens 4×100 (41.32) and 4×400.
In the Mens Sprints Archand Bagsit collected the mens-double with 21.67 and 48.50. Bagsit the SEA Games silver medalist last year, ran a tiring set of sub 48 runs at the Grand Prix in Thailand last month including a personal best of 47.42.