Cid gains Patafa 'Adopt an Olympian'

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 06 2014 02:58 PM | Updated as of Aug 06 2014 10:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid became the latest Filipino track star benefiting from the "Adopt an-Olympian" program as Wong Chu King Foundation came in to sponsor his training leading up to the 2016 Olympics.

Cid, according to the program’s overall director James Lafferty, has the potential to snare a medal in the Rio Games if only he can get a “holistic training program.”

“Jesson Cid is a world-class decathlete and he can compete against any decathlete in the world, especially in running. I think he can even win the 400m in Olympic decathlon. But for him to be competitive, he needs to get more support,” said Lafferty.

Under the program, Wong Chu King will provide P160,000 a month for the next 24 months for Cid’s training. Cid will have a team of experts to guide him, including Ateneo’s athletics program head Mick Perez, event coach Sean Guevarra, strength coach Lafferty, flexibility coach Carol Lee, nutritionist Harvey de Baron, sports psychologist Greg Stone as well as team doctors and a dedicated masseuse. He will also have access to facilities and specialized training equipment at Gold’s Gym.

“Maganda iyong programa at ganito ang kailangan para sa mataas na level (This kind of training is important if I were to reach a higher level). It’s a great opportunity for a young athlete like me to get support lile this so I grabbed it,” said a grateful Cid who promised to put his heart into training.

Holder of the Phl record in decathlon, Cid is already in the Top 5 in Asia and according to Lafferty, he can be at the range of a podium finish in the coming Asian Games in Incheon with two more months of training.

Cid was introduced as Wong Chu King’s sponsored athlete yesterday at Club Filipino, with American British Tobacco Phl Ltd general manager Lafferty, Wong Chu King’s Dominic Uy and Jean Michael Alabanza, Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Philip Juico and Philippine Sports Commissioner Jolly Gomez in attendance.

“We need private sector cooperation as it’s rather difficult to get support from government with its many priorities so welcome their help,” said Juico, who himself will be “scouting” for potential sponsors to help more athletes.”

Aside from Cid, Olympian long jumper Marestella Torres is also enjoying corporate support in her Rio build-up. Lafferty is sponsoring Torres while her husband, thrower Eliezer Sunang is training with the backing of Diamond Leasing.