Filipino gold medalist Marestella Torres-Sunang became country’s 8th Olympian after topping 6.72 meters long in Women’s Long Jump Open held in Kazakhstan to cement her position in Summer Games, Rio Olympics starting in August at Brazil.
She broke her personal best record of 6.71 achieved in 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Palembang which is also certified by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF). With 6.72 she achieved a new record and this would be her 3rd straight Olympic appearance after battling in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London games.
35-year-old Torres fought against wind and rain to gain this record, however if the wind exceeds more than 2 meter per second it would invalidate a performance. According to Philippines Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) president Philip Ella Juico, Torres is currently ranked 28th in the world.
This year during Women’s Long Jump event of Ayala-PATAFA Philippine National Open Invitationals held at Philsports Arena, Torres grabbed a gold medal with registering 6.60 jump in her 5th attempt, although failed just 10 centimeters shot for Olympic qualifying standards.
In a statement Juico shared – “It was her sixth and last jump in windy conditions compounded by continuous rains. She fouled in her fourth and fifth jumps. IAAF will have to officially certify her having made the standard.”
Coming back from maternity and giving the best performance is what made Torres-Sunang country’s long-jump queen. Although she lost couple of mark such as National Open and a marathon in Ottawa, she did try hard to qualify for Rio Olympics. Now Torres-Sunang will join hurdler Eric Cray and Mary Joy Tabal to represent Philippines in athletics at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Juico has high hopes with these three athletes and also wants EJ Obinea to join. However, three-person delegation will be the biggest among all competing Philippine NSAs.