Three Athletes who were discovered via pinoyathletics.info or through Philippines Sports Commission and recommended to PATAFA proved worth the investment. The Fil-Heritage program trio delivered three gold medals for the Philippines. Caleb Stuart, Eric Cray and Kayla Richardson delivered golds for the country.
Pinoyathletics.info is extremely proud of these three athletes and what they have been able to achieve.
On a thrilling Wednesday evening in one of the most thrilling races I have ever seen in my life. Unheralded Kayla Richardson from the Philippines became the youngest champion in the games history in the century dash. Consequently the 17 year old emulated the feat of Lydia De Vega who at the same age in 1981 SEA Games in Manila won the 200 and 400m Dash.
Yet the 5’9 Richardson was the slowest coming out of the blocks in Lane 7. Princess Joy Griffey in lane 3 the other Filipino entry in this race was leading for the first 50m. While Tassaporn Wannakit of Thailand the 2013 SEA Games Bronze medalist started clawing back. Also home favorite Shanti Veronica Pereira also began closing ground on Griffey.
With 15m to go a horde of runners swarmed passed Griffey who was now out of the medals. While Wannakit looked like she had the race but in the dying embers. However it was the much taller figure of Kayla Richardson in the lane next door used every milometer of her height to pip her on the line.
While both Richardson and Wannakit registered times of 11.76, with home crowd favorite Shanti taking bronze in 11.88. Zulkifili the pre-race favorite was fourth, and Princess Joy Griffey the Philippine National Games champion fifth in 12.00.
The win however was rewarded by 4/1000th of a second to the youngest athlete in the final and gave the Philippines its first gold since 1995.
Kayla Richardson was not expected to win, being the youngest in the event and playing at her first SEA Games after having to bypass the 2013 due to school commitments.
Hence Richardson who was assisted via pinoyathletics in early 2013, was recommended to the PATAFA. While her father Jeff Richardson who now serves as her coach was the one who endorsed her to us and we were obliged to assist. Also Richardson currently holds the Filipino Junior Record in the 100m Dash at 11.65. She will be next participating at the World Youth Championships in Colombia next month. Her mother Kieyana is from Zamboanga.