Marilyn ‘Daffy’ Avila struck the only gold in athletics for the Philippines on Day 1 of the ASEAN University Games in Singapore. The 20 year old Avila who is a student at FEU clocked a new personal best of 1.02.22. To win the ASEAN Universty Game title. This continues a very successful season for Avila who improved on her PB of 1.02. when she was second at the Hong Kong Inter City meet in June where she clocked 1.02.78.
The win catapults Avila to #1 in the South East Asian ranking lists for 2016 and also puts her within range (.53) of qualifying for the Womens 400 Hurdles for the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. The bronze qualifying standard is 1.01.69 for 400 Hurdles. The Philippines has not been represented by a women in the 400 Hurdles since Mary Grace Melgar in 2007.
Avila beat Juthamas Khonkham of Thailand (1.02.44), and Saidatul Suhaimi of Malaysia (1.02.61), her team mate from the Philippines Michelle Loterte who took bronze in the 2014 edition was fourth in 1.02.92.
The ASEAN University Games is a Bi-Annual meet last held in 2014. Which involves a selection of UAAP Athletes from the Philippines.