MANILA, Philippines – Marestella Torres, considered as Asia’s Long Jump Queen, is setting her sights on another prized achievement: the Asian Games (Asiad) gold medal.
Torres, who won the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games long jump gold in December, is currently shaping up for the 16th edition of the Asiad in China in November.
The 28-year-old will try to surpass her 6th place finishes in the 2002 and 2006 Asiad.
“Dati, pangarap ko sana mag gold ako sa SEA Games. Nakuha ko na ‘yun. Ang target ko ngayon is makuha yung gold medal sa Asian Games,” Torres told ABS-CBN News.
In December, Torres broke the 20-year-old record of fellow Filipino Elma Muros-Posadas.
Torres’ personal best record in the Laos SEA Games was 6.68 meters while Muros-Posadas’ 1989 record was 6.52 meters.
Aside from winning the SEA Games gold medal in December, Torres bagged the long jump gold in the Asian Championships in China.
She also took home the gold in the 2007 and 2005 SEA Games events in Thailand and the Philippines, respectively. She finished in 8th place in the 2005 World Cup in Finland.
She competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but failed to enter the finals.
Lone RP long jumper
Torres said she got into long jump competitions when she was in elementary.
“‘Yung family ko, lahat ng laban ko para sa kanila. Kung may matanggap ako financially, lahat napupunta ‘yun sa family ko (All of these are for my family. Whatever I get financially, it goes to my family),” she said.
The former student athlete progressed from competing in the Palarong Pambansa to making it to international competitions such as the World Cup, SEA Games, Asian Championships and Asian Games.
Her gold medal win in the Asian Championships was the first time that the Philippines bagged a gold in long jump.
The last time the country brought home a gold from the Asian Championship was courtesy of sprint queen Lydia de Vega in 1983.
With all the medals she has won, Torres disclosed that she fears for the future of long jump in the country.
“Hanggang ngayon tingnan mo nag-iisa pa rin ako. Kung mag-retire ako next year, wala nang papalit sa akin (Up to now, I remain the country's only long jumper. If i retire next year, nobody will take my place),” said the long jumper, who wanted to have a family in the near future.