Unheralded Bautista, Calano run away with SEA Games athletics golds


CAPAS, Philippines – Unheralded local talents Clinton Kingsley Bautista and Melvin Calano shared the golden spotlight Monday night, December 9, as the country sustained its drive in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games trackfest at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium. 

Bautista highlighted the solid showing of the Philippine bets, ruling the men’s 110-meter hurdles in a thrilling photo-finish to bag the gold with a time of 13.97 seconds, relegating defending Malaysian champion Shah Wan Sofiah Rayzam. Not too far behind was Laotian bronze medalist Anousone Saysa (13.99).

"Di ko akalaing mananalo po ako dahil sumakit 'yung kanang tuhod ko. Masayang-masaya din po ako dahil yong mga ka-barangay sa Camiling nandito upang suportahan ako," added Bautista, 27, who took a three-week break just before the meet to recuperate from his injury. 

(I didn't think that I would win because my knee was hurting. I'm really happy because my friends from Barangay Camiling came to support me.) 

Melvin Calano also got into the act, clinching the gold in the men’s javelin throw in heaving the spear to a distance of 72.86 meter to nearly break the Philippine mark of 72.93 meters of Danilo Fresnido at the Laos SEA Games 10 years ago.  

Calano sealed the deal on his fourth try, besting his bronze-medal finish in the 2015 Malaysia SEA Games.

A possible third mint slipped through the fingers of the Nationals as Carter Lilly, who had led virturally from the start, faded 15 meters to the finish line and was overtaken by Vietnam’s Duong Van Thai, who took the gold in 1:49.91 to the Fil-Am’s  1:50.17.

Malaysia’s Royson Vincent (1:50.68) got the bronze.

Also settling for silver was the  all-Fil-Am women’s 4x100-meter relay squad of Zion Corrales Nelson, twin siblings Kyla and Kayla Richardson, and Kristina Knott, which took second in 44.57 seconds, eclipsing the the two-year-old national standard of 44.81 seconds in the 2017 edition in Malaysia.

The Thai relay squad took the gold (44.38) while Vietnam placed 3rd (45.17).

The men’s 4x100-meter relay squad of Anfernee Lopena, Bautista, Francis Medina and Eric Shwan Cray could only muster 4th place in 40.12 seconds in the race won by Thailand (39.27), followed by Indonesia (39.78) and Malaysia (40.04). – Rappler.com