Last Tuesday, i had the privilege in seeing the masters themselves, our Team Philippines to the 18TH ASIA MASTERS ATHLETICS 2014 for Kitakami City, Iwate Perfecture, Japan which begins today.
As a runner myself who belongs to this “oldies” age group category, i see their youthful enthusiasm in re-gaining the glory they had achieved during their earlier productive years and i can assure you that these athletes are still raring to give it their best shots to represent our country and make us proud.
It was a treat seeing for myself the heroes of yesteryears like Javelin Queen Erlinda Lavandia who in her 60s is still an athlete to reckon with in her age group and the great Reynato Unso who is still the current 400m hurdles record holder and who graced the sports pages of major newspapers back in the 80s.
Special shout-outs too to my friends Edward Kho, Lorna Vejano and Philippine track legend Elma Muros-Posadas who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the affair.
The Asia Masters Athletics Championships is a biennial athletics championships in Asia participated in by athletes over the age of 35. It is the Asian version of the World Masters (formerly Veterans) Athletic Championships inaugurated in 1975 held every two odd-numbered years.
Because all these athletes will be needing some sort of financial and material support, the team has gained some back-up from L-Time Studio and SOMA Sports watches who have taken care of their running gears and sports watches.
Let’s all join together in sending our best wishes and positive energy our athlete’s way as they compete on the world’s Masters stage in Japan. Go Team Philippines!
Erlinda Lavandia, Asia’s Javelin Queen
Our Team Members are:
1. BANIQUED, MARGARITO: former RP Team national athlete
2. BAYABAN, JULIO: former RP Team national athlete
3. BAYABAN, SALVE: Bronze Medal – 4x100m: 17th AMAC
4. CALMA, VICTORINA: 2 Silver Medals – 800m, 1500m; 1 Bronze Medal – 4x100m: 17th AMAC
5. CHEE, ANTONIO JR.: Silver Medal – Pole Vault: 17th AMAC
6. DE SANTOS, MARIO: 2-time AMAC RP Team member
7. EALDAMA, SUSAN JANETTE: PhD candidate UP; former collegiate varsity athlete UP 1991-94
8. FRESNIDO, DANILO: Javelin Throw current Philippine record holder
9. KHO, EDWARD = founder Corregidor Marathon and Corregidor International Half-Marathon; 1996 UAAP Bronze Medal 4x400m
10. LAVANDIA, ERLINDA: Asia’s Javelin Queen; 3 Gold Medals – Javelin, Shot Put, Discus Throw: 17th AMAC
11. LOZADA, JOHN: SEA Games record holder 800m; 2 Silver Medals – 800m, 1500m: 17th AMAC
12. OBIENA, EDWARD: Silver Medal – Pole Vault: 17th AMAC
13. OBIENA, EMERSON: Pole Vault national coach; Gold Medal – Pole Vault: 17th AMAC
14. OBIENA, MA. JEANETTE: Pole Vault national coach
15. MUROS-POSADAS, ELMA: Asia’s Long Jump Queen; Heptathlon Philippine record holder; Gold Medal – 100m: 17th AMAC
16. PUNELAS, ELENITA: High Jump Philippine record holder; Bronze Medal – 4x100m: 17th AMAC
17. SCOTT, DENNIS: veteran Long Distance runner
18. UNSO, REYNATO: 400m Hurdles current Philippine record holder
19. VEJANO, LORNA: Bronze Medal – 4x100m: 17th AMAC
20. YCASAS, PAUL: Team Manager (Philippine Sports Commission)
21. PAREDES, ARIEL: Chef de Mission (Philippine Sports Commission)
Asia Masters Athletics Championships:Path of Athletic Immortality
The exploits of well-celebrated sports icons usually leave a lasting memory to a lot of people, mostly sports fans. But when these sports heroes go into retirement, most of the time nothing is heard of them after. Often, the assumption is, after relinquishing their god-like sporting prowess they become inactive normal individuals, succumbing to the ravages of sedentary lifestyle. They become mere mortals, so to speak.
On September 19, this belief will be dispelled as the 19-strong Philippine team composed of mainly former national athletes will battle it out with the rest of Asia in the 18th Asia Masters Athletics Championships in Kitakami City, Japan.
The Asia Masters Athletics Championships is a biennial athletics championships in Asia participated in by athletes over the age of 35. It is the Asian version of the World Masters (formerly Veterans) Athletic Championships inaugurated in 1975 held every two odd-numbered years. The 1st World Masters/Veterans Athletic Championships were held in Toronto, Canada in 1975.
The Philippine participation in AMAC could be traced back to as early as 1996. That was for the 9th AMAC held in October in Seoul, South Korea. Last year’s Philippine campaign spearhead by athletics legends Elma Muros-Posadas and Linda Lavandia was a bumper crop.
A total of 8 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals were bagged by the unrelenting and gutsy Pinoy tracksters. For this year’s edition of the AMAC, Team Philippines, supported by L TIMESTUDIO and SOMA sports watch, is eyeing to match or even surpass this achievement.
So, as to the question what happens to great sports heroes when they step out of the limelight, there could be only one answer. They don’t retire. They become immortals. (PRESS RELEASE)