New marathon queen
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Nobody gave Bukidnon native Christine Halasgo a Chinaman’s chance to win the women’s marathon on the 39th SEAG, considering she’s competing with compatriot Mary Joy Tabal, Rio Olympian veteran and defending champion. 

When first news of the marathon results were blurted, I didn’t even bother to check, I asked my daughter Milo what was the winning time of Tabal, but she said it’s not Mary Joy but an unknown runner from Malaybalay.  Hallasgo, who only made it to the national pool five months ago, clocked one hour, 56 minutes and 56 seconds to upset the seeded Tabal.

The 26-year old mother of one, trained with national marathon holder Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista and finished third behind Tabal in the Milo Marathon Finals last year.  I don’t understand why Tabal trained in a relatively cool country like Japan, when she could have familiarized with the route here and adjust with the terrible heat. 

Tabal recorded 2:43 in a Canadian race to qualify for the Rio Olympics, that’s a far cry from the 2:58:49 she clocked the other day. Tabal collapsed in the finish line but recovered later after getting medical assistance.  Tabal blamed the heat as several runners were also rushed to the emergency room. 

But a win is a win, at least it was our runners who got the gold and the silver medals. Congratulations Christine and of course to my “paisano” Vertek.

Sprint queen

After an impressive win in the Philippine Athletics Championship in Ilagan City last March, Fil-Am sprinter Kristina Knotts vowed it won’t be long before she shatters Lydia De Vega’s records in the  100m and 200m sprints.  I said to myself “Hambugera ning bayhana da”, although I know deep down inside that she has the potential to do it.  Last Saturday, Knott made true her promise by smashing not only Lydia De Vega’s record in the 200m, but the Sea Games mark as well. 

Knott blasted her competitors when she won the 200m gold medal breaking the meet record twice in one day at the sprawling New Clark City Oval in Tarlac.  Knott clocked 23:01 seconds to eclipsed the 18-year old mark of Thai Supavadee Khawpeag in the Kuala Lumpur Games by registering a 23:07 in the process  breaking the National record of 23:16 submitted by another Fil-Am Zion Corales Nelson in the US NCAA last May. 

Corales Nelson earlier surprassed the 33-year old record of De Vega (23:50). Knott however failed to win the 100m Sunday when she lost to a Vietnamese runner.   She likewise failed to break Lydia De Vega’s record when she clocked 11:55.

Elvisaya in christmas concert

On December 14, 2019, Elvisaya and friends will again treat mall shoppers to a two-hour free concert starting at 5pm at the Robinsons Fuente Activity Center. 

The show which will be on its eight successful year will also feature Jhun Villahermosa, the Frank Sinatra of Cebu, Edison Monternel, the Tom Jones of Cebu, Cebu Pop Music champion Jun Villarta and Aliw Awardee and Handurawan host, Amie Filomeno.  Veteran broadcaster and stand-up comedian Sam Costanilla will again host the show supported by Casa Ilongga, Summit Circle and Metrografix.

Did you know? Emil Zatopek

In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Czech Emil Zatopek had already won the gold in the 5000m and 10,000 meter run when he decided to join the marathon, an event he has never ran.  Jim Peters of England was the heavy favorite being the world record holder (2:20:43).  Peters never considered Zatopek a threat since the Czech is inexperienced.  In the half-way Mark, Zatopek running alongside Peters asked if they were running too fast.  The arrogant Peters replied ‘No, too slow”. 

Zatopek then accelerated and Peters couldn’t keep pace and eventually quit near the 20 mile mark.   Zatopek won the race in 2:23:03, a new marathon record and his third gold medal in Helsinki.

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