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Santos, PATAFA athletes start busy year

BUSY 2022 FOR ATHLETES. Philippine Athletics Track and Field athketes including Katherine Santos will have a busy 2022 after she rejoined the national team when she won the long jump and 100 meters rin in two-day Ayala Philippine Athletics Championship earlier this month. Photo from Kath Santos Facebook page

After a three years of absence, 2011 Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Katherine Santos will make a return as her busy 2022 calendar starts on January 3.

Santos after ruling the long jump and 100 meter run middle this month starts a busy calendar as she and her co-members train for tough international competitions with the Southeast Asian Games as apparently the “easiest” for them.

Philippine Athletics and Track and Field chair Philip Ella Juico said this during the Philippine Athletics Championships last December 16 and 17 where he also said that he had no high expectations with the results of the said competitions backed by the Ayala group of companies.

“Our expectations were not that high. It was simply a two months training for our athletes after almost two years of inactivity,” said Juico after the first day of the Ayala backed PAC last December 16 and 17 at the Baguio athletic bowl.

“It was a two months training and we don’t expect them to have record breaking performances,” added the PATAFA chief.

“Real training” will definitely start next year as the athletes prepare for various international competitions with the SEAGames as one of these tough competitions, said Juico after swearing in mayor Benjamin Magalong as the PATAFA director for Cordillera.

Among the events the athletes will prepare for next year are the Asian Indoor Championships in Kazakhstan on February, the World Athletics Championship in Oregon on July and the quadrennial Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September.

The Asian Indoor in the Kazakh capital of Nur Sultan will be the soonest of these competitions and which is set on February 11 to 13. Some 29 countries will be seeing action.

Then it will be another three-month training for the national athletes as they will see action in the 11-nation SEAG on May 12 to 22 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The 18th edition of the world championship in Oregon will be on July 15-24 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene.The 30,000 capacity stadium venue of the delayed competitions was the host of the 2021 NCAA Division I championship.

The world championship was supposed to be staged last August 6 to 15 but was moved the said date next year due to the Tokyo Summer Olympics which was completed after the first week of August.

The 19th edition of the Asian Games in the Chinese city will run from September 10 to 25 and will have 482 event in 40 sports discipline and will have 45 Asian nations participating.

Last December 16, Juico administered the oath of office to Magalong as PATAFA Cordillera chief.

The two day PAC saw local Katherine Santos win the two events she joined in: 100 meter run and long jump where she beat legend and former Olympian Marestella Torres-Sunang.

“We should support our athletes,” said Magalong, who was a 3kilometer, 5k and 10k runner during his cadet days at the Philippine Military Academy, before his induction to office.

“And I see that our players skill set are much better. Now (the) level of passion and skill set (has) significantly levelled up, compared to us,” he added.

His election as PTAFA regional director was made since the city can provide “use of facility, mobilization and transportation for athletes and provide accommodation.”

The PATAFA – Cordillera was formerly under the late Pedro Mendoza, the former athletic director of Baguio Colleges Foundation or University of the Cordilleras and president of the Philippine Volleyball Federation, who died in 2014.

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