Fil-Am pole vaulter shatters 11-year national record


MANILA, Philippines – Natalie Uy emerged as Philippine athletics' latest sensation as the Filipino-American set the new national women’s pole vault record. 

Uy cleared 4.12 meters in her first try that broke Deborah Samson’s 11-year-old record (4.11m) during her Philippine debut in the 2019 Ayala Philippine Athletics Championship on Wednesday, March 6, at the Ilagan Sports Complex.

Her record-breaking feat may be good enough to score a gold in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games as 2017 Kuala Lumpur gold medalist Chayanesa Chomchuendee of Thailand won with a mark of 4.10m.

View this post on Instagram Officially the new Philippine record holder!!   #pinoyathlete #philipinoamerican #polevault #polevaulting #philippines #pertiga A post shared by natalieuy (@natalieuy) on Mar 6, 2019 at 2:18am PST 

Although the qualification for the SEA Games team runs until September, Uy’s stellar performance puts her on top of the leaderboard.

The mark, though, isn't the 24-year-old’s best performance as she achieved her personal best of 4.30 in Spain last year.

Hailing from Ohio, Uy – whose father Henry is from Cebu – was supposed to suit up for the national team in the 2018 Asian Games, but failed to acquire her Philippine passport on time.

Her personal best would have matched the mark of Chomchuendee, who won a silver in the Asiad.

In the Ilagan tournament, Alyana Nicolas (3.80m) and Riezel Buenaventura (3.40) finished behind Uy for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.