The removal of several of our women’s sprinters from the SEA Games lineup leave a lot of questions to be asked as 35 entries were sliced to 28 by the Taskforce. However the Taskforce was generous to increase this number from the original 23 to 28. So sacrifices unfortunately had to be made. Despite that we still have a quality 28 athletes selected for SEA Games.
As a result of the cut the womens 4x100m Relay was scrapped from the lineup a new generation looking to relive the glory days of Sinoro, Punelas, Ganosa, Mercado and Muros. The Womens 4×100 lineup of Kath Santos, Princess Joy Griffey, Kyla Richardson and Kayla Richardson that was bound to SEA Games was actually stronger than the initial lineup used in Thailand.
At the Thailand open Santos, Griffey, with Hanelyn Loquinto and Jennyrose Rosales clocked 46.63 to win Bronze after having only one day of relay practice. The fastest time since 2003. SEA Games champion Thailand won and then the remnants of full strength Malaysian team (5 top female sprinters had received drug bans) was second in 46.45. However Loquinto and Rosales blotched the change and it took 2 or 3 attempts to pass the baton.
As Kyla and Kayla had season bests of 11.93 and 11.79 compared to Loquinto 12.49 and Rosales 12.41 this automatically gives around 1.18 seconds off the total time reducing it to 45.45. Without the blotched change and passing it could be around 45.0-45.2. While this would not be any match for Thailand 45.00 and 45.12 Indonesia and Vietnam won Silver and Bronze.
The Philippine Record of Sinoro, Punelas, Ganosa and Mercado stands at 45.29. I am adamant this record is now under threat in the next year or so and we can now look very forward to our chances in 2015 as a SEA Games power again in the relay.
However the evident growth of the Womens Sprints had still come about. After a long drought of successful female sprinters infact the last medal at a SEA Games came from now national coach Lerma Buluitan (2001 Bronze).
Leading the charge right now is 19 year old Jenny Rose Rosales, whose recent breakthrough in winning the JR Womens 400m in Thailand has led to selection for the SEA Games. Rosales time of 55.87 is behind four Vietnamese sprinters (only 2 per country for SEA Games) which seed her in a position for a possible Bronze Medal. Rosales who is coached by Elma Muros is a product of the Palarong Pambansa program. Rosales more recently had timed 55.0 and 55.5 in training but has decided to focus on the UAAP rather than SEA Games.
Meanwhile in the Thai Open in the 100m Fil-Heritage sprinter Princess Joy Griffey heroic fourth place in the final saw a huge turn-around from her form a few weeks ago. Griffey who has not trained for 2 years in a month lowered her time from 12.46 to 12.10 despite having to work a full time job. Griffey qualified for the final last and finished fourth in the process beating alot of SEA top ranked sprinters. The Heroic run had inspired and motivated retired sprinters Honey Joy Ortaliz and Keizel Pedrina out of retirement.