MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Games unfolds today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig with a slew of Fil-Ams, headed by SEA Games gold medal winner Eric Cray, seeking to shatter national records against the local aces on various fronts.
The 25-year-old Cray, who took the 400m hurdles gold in the Myanmar SEAG last year, is out to break the national record of 10.45 seconds in the 100m set by Ralph Waldy Soquilon seven years ago and is expected to anchor the 4x100m team composed of Henry Dagmil, Noli Torres and Archand Bagsit.
Princess Joy Griffey of Washington, Donovant Grant Ariola of El Paso, Texas and Tyler Ruiz of Los Angeles will also try to make good impression in the six-day track and field event serving as part of the selection process for members of the national pool.
Griffey, daughter of former national junior sprinter Leah Nolido, will be competing in the 100m and 200m dash, which she is expected to dominate with current best times of 11.58 and 23.93, respectively.
Her times, however, are only second to former Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado’s 11.28 and 23.35.
Ariola will challenge three-time SEAG long jump gold medalist Dagmil after churning out best jumps of 7.53m last year and 7.30m this year. His 7.53m is good enough to win a bronze in the SEAG. To Page 17 Before he acquired his dual citizenship, high jumper Ruiz has posted a 2.17m leap, matching Sean Guevarra’s long-standing national record.
Aside from the Fil-Ams, Malaysia and Singapore are also fielding in crack teams that include Singaporean Jamal Amirudin, the 100m SEAG bronze medalist and Fil-Malaysian Eddie Edwards, who represented Sabah, Malaysia in winning the sprint golds in the 2011 and 2013 PNG editions.
A number of newcomers are also trying their luck for possible national team inclusion, including a promising talent in San Sebastian’s Jomar Udtohan, who broke six records in winning five golds, including sprint titles, in last week’s Palarong Pambansa in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
Other events on tap are arnis, baseball, 3x3 basketball, boxing, chess, cycling, judo, karatedo, pencak silat, rugby, sepak takraw, shooting, underwater hockey, volleyball, weightlifting; archery, badminton, beach volley, bowling, bridge, canoe-kayak, dragonboat, cheerdance, dancesports, diving, fencing, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics, karatedo, motocross, muay thai, powerlifting, sailing, soft tennis, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, windsurfing and wushu.
There will also be events for the differently-abled athletes in the 10-day event bankrolled by the PSC and backed by Summit Natural Drinking Water, Bala Energy Drink, Standard Insurance and SM Marikina.