Freeman Cebu Sports

Surprises in Rio

SPORT EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

In a previous column I wrote on the mission impossible of our Philippine team to win a medal in the Rio Olympics.  In fact, my breakfast buddies, Ted and Sam said our team was heading to the slaughterhouse.  I told them Don’t Be Cruel for who knows we could spring a surprise or two in the Games.  Well, the surprise was Hidilyn Diaz snaring the silver medal in the women’s 53kg weightlifting event, our first medal  after 20 years.  So now we know that it’s not only in boxing where we have a chance to win that elusive gold.  With Hidilyn’s latest addition, our total silver medals are three, the other two courtesy of Anthony Villanueva (Tokyo 1964) and Onyok Velasco (1996 Atlanta).  As Hidilyn said with more intense training and support we could win the gold in the  next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.  Anyway, Congratulations Hidilyn, it took 20 years but it’s worth waiting. 

Marathon post mortem

While Hidilyn’s win was a surprise, the same cannot be said of marathoner Joy Tabal’s dismal finish.  My kumpare, Relly Mercado asked my opinion regarding Joy’s chances before she left.  I told Relly Joy’s best time of 2:43:29 is only good for 80th place if you base it on the bronze-medal time of Russian Tatyana Arkhipova of 2:23:29  which she clocked in the 2012 London Olympics.  So as I write this column, the smoke of the Rio Marathon has cleared and Joy was in 124th place out of 133 finishers.  So what went wrong?  Well, if you ask me here’s some observation.  I believe Joy was burned out.  After failing to book a qualifying time in the Boston Marathon, Joy attempted another shot for Rio when she joined the Ottawa Marathon in Canada.  As a coach myself and runner (I’ve been running for 36 years and have lost count of how many races I have joined maybe 600 or more), running successive  marathon is a no, no.  Ask  the elite Kenyans, they  rest at least three months before running another one.  In the case of Joy, she ran Boston in April, Ottawa in May and Rio in August.  Instead of tapering off she still went to Japan, another cold country like Boston and Canada to continue  training.  The muscles need to recover and it was just too much to run all over again in less than two months.  If you read the reports, Joy suffered cramps, that’s a result of over training or over-competition. That’s probably also the reason that PATAFA was hesitant at first to include Joy in the contingent, they know she’s just been running too much.  Kumpare Relly reminded me of my protégé Herman Suizo who ran in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and to date has the best finish ever for a Filipino runner in the Olympics, finishing 51st in a field of 120.  My other protégé Roy Vence, six-time Milo Marathon champion, ran in the Atlanta Olympics.  But I salute Joy for her never-say-die attitude.  As they say, just by being in the Olympics is an accomplishment.  See you in Tokyo in 2020.

Perry Como joins concert

Realtor  Herbert Buot the acknowledged Perry Como of Cebu will  join Elvis and Frank Sinatra during the Elvis and Sinatra Salute the Grandparents mini-concert set September 10 at the South Town Centre Activity Center  in Tabunok Talisay City.  This will be a real treat  not only for the elderly but for the young as well. Elvisaya (Raffy Uytiepo) and Jhun Villahermosa, Frank Sinatra of Cebu are all set to thrill the crowd. Also guesting  is Ate Ging  Montesclaros of “As Time Goes By” fame.  While hosting the show  is veteran mediaman and pianist Sam Costanilla.  The show which is open to the public starts at 4:00pm

Did you know?

Ulrike Meyfarth a 16 year-old of West Germany won the 1972 Olympic high jump to become the youngest individual track gold medal winner.  Twelve years later in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, she won the gold again to become the oldest Olympic high jump winner ever.

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