MEDIA RELEASE: But any Newspapers must cite pinoyathletics.info as its source.
Fil-Heritage program athlete Jess Barnard broke the Philippine Record in the 800 with a clocking of 2.06.75. Barnard erased the longstanding mark of Gintong Alay athlete Nenita Dungca-Tacuyan set in 1985 at the Taipei Invitational in Changhua when she was 20 years old. Barnard clocked this performance at the Portland Track Festival. Jess finished third in timed section number 5.
It was a fitting birthday gift for Jess who just turned 26, on June 10. Barnard is backed by private sponsor Oiselle and the Philippine Sports Commission’s Priority athlete program. She decided to move out to Oregon for a better training environment and more relaxed lifestyle than fast paced California.
The Performance was a big improvement on her rapidly falling personal best last month also in Portland of 2.09.32. Barnard also won the Philippine National Open in April clocking 2.11.20 to take the gold for Team Airforce.
Barnard is a bronze medalist in the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games in the Steeple Chase which she also holds the National Record for. Her mother is from Digos City, Davao Region.
According to Malaysia’s organizers there is a chance in which they may not hold a Women’s Steeple Chase in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. Such a decision would rob Jess and the Philippines of a long deserved gold medal in this event which we have never won before in the Women’s. PATAFA should continue to put pressure on the Organizers to include this and other events to preserve athletics at SEA Games.
Jess performance in the mean time in her secondary event surpasses the silver of 2015 SEA Games by Myint Swe Li of Myanmar 2.10.21, and still a bit behind the gold medalist Do Thi Thao of Vietnam 2.05.22. The Performance puts Barnard at the top in South East Asia for the first half of 2016.