MANILA, Philippines – Tired of Manila traffic? The country’s long jump record holder Marestella Torres-Sunang feels the same way as she braves through the Ortigas traffic from her home in Bacoor just to train at the PhilSports complex.
But the Olympian has finally found a solution with the inauguration of Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite – the new home of the Philippine athletics team.
"March pa lang nandito na ako so nakiusap na ako in advance kung pwede na ako makigamit dito, so ok naman yung jumping and yung buong track oval, pero yun pa lang yung meron," said Torres-Sunang.
(I was here since March so I asked them if I could use the facility in advance, so the jumping and whole track oval are okay, but that's all they have operational so far.)
After her Philippine National Games (PNG) stint, Sunang immediately started her 2018 Asian Games training at the Vermosa Sports Hub. The convenience has benefitted her as she nears her peak form in time for the continental tournament.
"Nasa 80% lang ako ngayon, so meron pa akong two months so kino-cover up namin yung mga training kasi medyo nag-struggle ako sa training ko nakaraan dahil nga medyo malayo yung ibang facilities ko," explained the long jumper.
(I'm only at 80% of my peak form so I still have two months to fill in the training I lost since I struggled in the past because the facilities I used to go to are far.)
Torres-Sunang holds the Philippine record of 6.72m, which she achieved in the 2016 Olympic qualifying tournament. It was better than the mark set by 2014 Asian Games gold medalist Maria Natalia Londa of Indonesia's distance of 6.55m. The Filipina, however, failed to make the qualifying mark in the long jump finals of the Incheon games.
The long jump specialist's best Asian Games finish was in the 2010 Guangzhou games where she placed 4th with a distance of 6.49m.
Photo by Beatrice Go/Rappler
The Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association’s (PATAFA) main sponsor AyalaLand Corporation welcomed the federation to its new home in the Vermosa estate on Friday, June 29.
A gym for the athletes’ conditioning is expected to be done by August 2018 while the PATAFA is still waiting for the construction of a grandstand and the installation of functional floodlights to fulfill international standards for a competition venue.
"Yung equipment (ngayon) kulang, and of course if you want to host international competitions, you have to increase the seating capacity to at least 15,000. Tsaka yung lighting, kasi meron kang competition sa gabi," said PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico.
(It still lacks equipment now, and of course if you want to host international competitions, you have to increase the seating capacity to at least 15,000. There should also be lighting because there's competition at night.)
The Asian Games-bound athletics team started training regulary in Vermosa Sports Hub last June 23, and they are currently residing in The O resort which is 10 minutes away from the training facility. – Rappler.com
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.