Baguio’s top track and field athlete is back with the national team.
After a three-year break from competition that saw her miss the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to raise a kid, the 31 year old Katherine Santos topped the long jump and 100 meters run events of the Ayala Philippine Athletics Championship at the Baguio athletic bowl Thursday.
The two-day national tryouts for the Hanoi, Vietnam SEAG saw Santos beat the country’s top female long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang.
The 2011 SEAG bronze medalist Santos cleared 6.06 meters which was actually tied with the legendary 40 year old Torres-Sunang but won via countback with her second best leap at 6.01 meters against the 5.98 of the Olympian.
Santos also won the 100 meters run with a time of 12.61 seconds as she slowly starts a return to form after three years of absence as a full-time mother.
Santos was rather circumspect about her chances in today’s first day of competition where she was scheduled to play at two events that follow one another.
“During training, my highest 5.90 (meters), in the games, I am supposed to clear six meters, hopefully my preparation will pay off and I could jump well even though this is my first to compete after a long time,” Santos told this writer Wednesday.
“In the 100 meters, it is clear that the speed is there but we’ll see in the actual game especially so that my events will be staged one after the other. I will definitely get rested since I will go to the 100 meters run right after I finish the long jump,” added Santos who finished high school at the nearby Baguio City High School.
But Santos said that the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is not keen on having records in the premiere national tryouts due to the long lull in training and it was only two months ago that the athletes start their training.
“The PATAFA will consider a six meter leap,” Santos earlier said.
PATAFA chair Philip Ella Juico said in a press conference in Manila that they are not expecting much but will consider the APAC as a regular training for the athletes.