MANILA, Philippines - Two-time Olympians Marestella Torres and Hidilyn Diaz couldn’t catch the last bus to the coming Asian Games in Incheon.
Given one last chance to qualify, Torres and Diaz yesterday failed to meet the criteria set by the Asian Games task force for their respective events.
The 33-year-old Torres, who won the long jump gold in the 2009 Asian Championships, needed a jump of 6.37 meters to book a ticket to Incheon in September.
But she fell short yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Before an empty stadium and just a handful of officials, Torres recorded 6.08 on her first jump and followed it with 6.03, 6.00, 5.85 and 6.17.
She fouled her sixth and last attempt.
It was a pity because Torres, after giving birth to her first child only last January, worked very hard to nail a slot to Incheon.
In two international tournaments the last couple of months she did 6.26 in Hong Kong and 6.14 in Vietnam, raising hopes she could make it to Incheon.
Torres was given another chance yesterday, which was past the Aug. 1 deadline set by the task force made up of officials from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.
“Yes,” said POC chairman Tom Carrasco when asked if Torres is now officially out of the Asian Games lineup.
“I had hopes. I was in condition but I still needed some extra time to train. But the Asian Games is still more than a month away,” she said.
The deadline set by the Incheon organizers for the final and official lineup from the competing countries is on Aug. 15.
As of last Friday, there were 151 qualified athletes in the Philippine delegation.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Torres who was in tears as she tried to analyze the situation before Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Philip Juico.
Torres said whatever happens, she will continue to train and prove that she can still represent the county well overseas.
“In my heart, I knew she can make it. She was in tears because she wanted to go, she wanted to compete and she wanted to represent the country in the Asian Games,” said Juico.
“But there is life after this. There are other tournaments where she can compete,” added the former PSC chairman, referring to the Singapore Open later this month.
It was the same sad story for the 23-year-old Diaz, who like Torres represented the country in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London.
Diaz, the Philippine flag-bearer in the London Olympics, also couldn’t make it to Incheon.
She needed to lift a total of 225 kg to make it but was short with her effort of 220 kg (100 kg in snatch and 120 kg in clean and jerk).
In the snatch, Diaz did 95 on her first lift, 100 on the second and failed at 103 on the third. In the clean and jerk, she did 120 on her first try but failed to lift 125 on her second and third tries.
Diaz is the first female weightlifter to qualify and represent the country in the Olympics.
This time, her best wasn’t good enough.