KUALA LUMPUR — The Philippine athletics team has produced two more gold medals on Wednesday night in the ongoing 29th Southeast Asian Games here.
Filipino-American Trenten Anthony Beram ruled the men’s 200-meter run while Aries Toledo won the men’s decathlon event at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The athletics team now has four gold medals, including the country’s first gold delivered by Cebuana Mary Joy Tabal in the women’s marathon event on August 19 and another one coming from Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray in the men’s 400-meter hurdles on August 22.
Beram, whose mother is from Cebu, said he wasn’t expecting to win the gold medal.
“I feel great because this is my first SEA Games. I knew that I was coming in as a rookie so winning the gold was a bonus,” he said after clocking 20.84 seconds, a new national record. His old mark of 20.96 seconds was set during the Asian championships in Bhupaneswar, India last month.
Thailand’s Jirapong Meenapra took the silver in 21.22 seconds while Malaysian Gunesegaran Aravinn Thevarr registered 21.26 seconds to claim the bronze medal. Malaysian Khairul Hafiz Jantan, who won the gold in the century on Tuesday, finished fourth with a time of 21.28 seconds.
“Do not ask about my injury. Only I know what injury I have but just pray for my next race which is the 4×100. You can count on me to give my best,” said Khairul after the race.
“I’m sorry for not wanting to talk about my injury…it is a small matter. To the people of Malaysia I’m sorry I could not win the 200 meters. Maybe there are better things to come in other events,” he added.
Aravinn said he wasn’t expecting a podium finish. “This is an unexpected (bronze) medal. I did not expect to be on the podium knowing that I am against a strong field. To my parents, coach Balamurugan, YB Brig Gen Khairy (Jamaluddin), National Sports Council and all others I thank them.”
In decathlon, Toledo was thankful that he managed to win gold despite the pain all over his body.
“I was praying so hard to make it because my whole body was hurting since the javelin throw (the ninth event),” said Toledo, who had a total of 6,894 points.
“I told myself that I have to win. This is for the country and I cannot lose,” said Toledo, who is a former sprinter.
Thailand’s Suttisak Singkon, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games champion, finished with 6,678 points to win the silver while, Vietnam’s Bui Van Su tallied 6,207 points to take the bronze.
The other medalists on Wednesday were Harry Diones who won the silver in the men’s triple jump (16.83 meters) and Marco Vilog, who also pocketed the silver in the men’s 400-meter run (1:49.41).
Filipino-American Kayla Richardson, meanwhile, placed fifth (24.29) in the women’s 100-meter run event won by Vietnam’s Le Tu Chinh (23.22). Richardson, a freshman athletic scholar at the University of Southern Califorinia, will see action in the 4×100 relay on Friday. PNA-northboundasia.com