^

Sports

Lerma eyes long jump finals

- Lito Tacujan -
ATHENS (Via Globe Telecom) — It would seem modest goals of breaking a national record and making it to the finals but it would mean a world of difference for Filipina bet Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito when she competes in the long jump in athletics Wednesday at the Olympic stadium.

For this will be her last Olympics and hopes to further secure her place in the record books back home.

The 29-year-old Gabito will compete at 9:20 p.m. as one of 40 long jumpers who include world’s best American Marion Jones, the Russian trio of Tatyana Lebedeva, Tatyana Kotova, and Irina Simagina and France’s Eunice Barber, who all have personal best of over seven meters.

Gabito’s personal mark of 6:56 made in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix in Sri Lanka and which she shared with now retired Elma Muros, is actually one of two lowest marks in the event. But she remains undaunted.

"Mahirap pumasok sa
finals dahil ang qualifying standard is 6:65 but with one good leap baka palarin at makapasok," said the 5-foot-4 Penablanca, Cagayan Valley native.

After two weeks of training here, Lerma feels she is now in peak condition as she makes her second stint in the Olympics, having run in the Sydney Games in the 100-m and had a slow 12:08 time.

Bulauitan, gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and silver medal winner in the 2002 Asian Athletics championship in Manila, is one of two RP athletics bets competing here. The other is long distance runner Eduardo Buenavista, vying in the marathon in the final day of the 28th Olympics.

The field is the strongest ever assembled. It has drawn the likes of Jones, third placer in Sydney with a best mark of 7:31, and Lebedeva, who is coming in as the top seed with 7.33 record.

Lebedeva is currently the world No. 1 with victories in the World Championship in Budapest this year and in the World Indoor in Saint Denis, France and Edmonton, Canada.

Simagina will compete with the second best mark of 7.27.

Another Russian, the 29-year-old Tatyana Kotova with a mark of 7 flat, is also fancied, having ruled the event in the World Indoor in Birmingham while France’s Barber was a former holder of the world long jump crown.

Three Asians will be very much in contention with India’s Anju Bobby George (6.74), who was third placer in last year’s World Indoor China’s Guan Yingnan with 6.95 mark and Japan’s Maho Hanaoka whose best jump is 6.82.

"The field is really tough but Lerma is ready," said her coach Joseph Sy.

Uzbekistan’s Anastasiya Zhuravleva and Kazakhstan’s Yelema Kashcheyeva are also in the list but Lerma doesn’t mind because she has competed against them several times and has in fact beaten them.

The other qualifier with a 6:56 mark was Slovakia’s Tina Carman and it would be a side event on who would outclass the other.

The Olympic record in the event is 7:40 held by Jackie Joyner Kersee of the United States while the world mark is 7:52 by Russian Galena Chistyakova.

AMERICAN MARION JONES

ANASTASIYA ZHURAVLEVA AND KAZAKHSTAN

ANJU BOBBY GEORGE

ANOTHER RUSSIAN

ASIAN ATHLETICS

ASIAN GRAND PRIX

CAGAYAN VALLEY

LERMA

TATYANA KOTOVA

WORLD

WORLD INDOOR

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with
no session for state
no session for code
no session for id_token
no session for user