Five athletes represented the Philippines at the ASEAN Youth Championships at Rangsit, Thailand. The giant University compound of Thamaasat is like a second home for Filipino athletes who regularly competed here in the Thailand National Open for at least the past decade.
The five athletes selected, and im not sure how PATAFA did the selection? were Gianelli Gatinga (Long Jump), Karen Janario (100 Hurdles), Feiza Lenton (800m), Veruel Verdadero (sprints), and Joselito Hapitan sprints.
Karen Janario, was the surprise winner of the Girls 200m dash making the most of a tough -2.1 head wind she clocked a time of 25.43. Just outside her PB of 25.21 last year. She beat Thi My Tien Huynh of Vietnam 25.51 and Janythamitri of Thailand 25.54.
Karen Janario took the silver in the girls 100 Hurdles in 14.77. Albeit she was quite far behind the Vietnamese winner Thi My Tien Huynh who won the race in 14.23 into a -0.6 head wind. On the positive side Janario did alot better than her performance at the ASEAN School Games last year in Brunei were she landed a disappointing sixth place.
Janario currently holds the Philippines Junior Record with 14.52 from 2014 where she got silver at the ASEAN School Games. However Huynh at that time was only running 15 seconds and now has rapidly progressed to 14.23 due to the presence of a bundle of Foreign coaches helping with the Vietnam program such as legendary American coach Loren Seagrave.
Janario’s life long friend from Leyte and now her school mate at UST Feiza Lenton, the happiest girl at the 2015 Palarong Pambansa ended up with a bronze in the 800 meter run with 2.21.37. Albeit it was good that Feiza won a medal as she was eliminated from the heats of the 400 in Brunei ASEAN School games her last international meet. The time was a farcry from her PB of 2.14.49 from the Palarong Pambansa in Tagum 2015.
Pham of Vietnam won the race in 2.14.93, and Panphiboon of Thailand took silver in 2.18.91.
Jieann Calis who was concentrated on the Palaro, had a winning time of 2.14.18 at Albay which would have secured a gold at Thailand. Her PB is 2.12.27.
Gianelli Gatinga was 7th in the girls long jump with a mark of 5.21m, Not too bad considering she is recovering from a torn hamstring at the NCR meet last month. Her best is 5.30m a the Batang Pinoy Finals. The surprise winner was Rozario of Singapore with 5.86m considering that Singapore never really wins any women’s long jump in South East Asian meets. Tran of Vietnam was second in 5.66m and Ishak of Malaysia Bronze 5.50m.
Gatinga was not able to finish the Triple Jump.
Meanwhile in the Boys 200m Verdadero and Hapitan struggled home in 23.66 and 24.15 both dead last gasping for air into a -2.1 head wind. The winner was Muhammed Hanafi of Malaysia in 21.96, followed by Punpa of Thailand 22.10 and Salabal of Thailand 22.18.
Hapitan did run a personal best of 22.76 in the heats with Veruel running 23.48. The two boys also ran 11.63 and 11.78 in the 100 but failed to progress. Meanwhile Hapitan clocked 52.89 and Veruel 57.38 in the heats and both failed to progress to the 400 finals.