Fil-Ams warned: No Open stint, no SEAG
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2017 - 12:00am

ILAGAN, Isabela , Philippines  — The athletics association threatened to drop Fil-Ams Kayla Richardson and Caleb Stuart from the Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Games if they fail to show up in the 2017 Ayala-National Open Invitational Athletics Championships.

Track and field association president Philip Ella Juico said they have ordered all SEAG aspirants to prove their worth in the National Open.

“Present policy is, no participation in the National Open, no chance for a slot in SEA Games,” Juico said before leaving for Bangkok for the Asian Athletic Association meeting.

Richardson, the 100meter gold medalist of the 2015 SEA Games, and Stuart, the hammer throw champ in the Singapore meet, opted to stay in the US and skip the National Open, which starts  today.

 “We require all our national athletes to take part in the national open meet. We don’t want to rely on submitted best performance,” said Juico. “We want to see actual performance for PATAFA’s benefit and for the stakeholders and general public to see the face responsible for these performances.

“These athletes do receive allowances from the government and we want to make sure the money is well spent by actually seeing them perform,” said Juico.

“As far as I know, we got them tickets. He (Stuart) said he would show up and he’s not yet here. We’ll wait until his event starts. Kayla and Kyla are not showing up,” he said.

Patafa has excused one athlete from the National Open, SEAG pole vault silver medalist EJ Obiena, who is currently training in Europe.

“The only exception is Obiena, whose performance we actually saw in the recently concluded UAAP and he has already hit the SEA Games standard,” Juico explained.

Meanwhile, Fil-Am Eric Cray, who snared golds in the 100 meters and 400m hurdles in the 2015 SEAG in Singapore, has already arrived here and is expected to flex his muscle in at least one event.

Christopher Ulboc, the reigning SEAG 3000m steeplechase champion, and Fil-Canadian Zion Corrales-Nelson and Mark Harry Diones, who broke the national records in the 400m and triple jump last year, leads the national team mainstays already in town for the tourney.

The 18-year-old Nelson, who’s accompanied by father Stephen and sister Shiloh, will be competing in just the 100m with hopes of breaking her personal best of 11.76 seconds.

Nelson’s best actually matched Kayla Richardson’s winning 11.76 in the Singapore Games.

“Hopefully, she’ll give it a run and coast to her personal best. She’s basically competing against herself,” said Stephen Nelson, Zion’s father. “She’s already qualified but we’re planning to join the 100m, 200m and 400m in the SEA Games.”

At stake in athletics are 78 gold medals, including 17 in today’s opening events which start with the women’s 10,000m at 6 a.m.

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

or sign in with