Ilagan, Isabela — Southeast Asian Games veteran Mariano Masano and Jose Rizal University student Frederick Ramirez joined Edwin Giron in coming up with better-than-expected performances in the ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championships at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex here.
Masano and Ramirez came up with impressive clockings, even though they placed second and third in men’s 800-meters finals.
They were behind Malaysian National Games champion Wan Muhammad Wan Fazri Zahari, who took the gold men in one minute, 53.91 seconds.
The 25-year-old Masano submitted a time of 1:54.17 to hit and go below the SEA Games gold medal qualifying standard of 1:55.75.
Ramirez, 25, also went below the qualifying time with his 1:54.23 showing.
The 23-year-old Wan Zahari won his first gold in an international meet and has been selected to be part of the Malaysian national contingent to 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia.
University of the Philippines standout Giron, who continued to submit a lower time performance and finished the men’s 800-meter heats in one minute, and 51.83 seconds, was excused from joining the finals by coach Jojo Posadas.
Because Giron’s time was much lower in the heats, Posadas just asked him to rest, return to Manila and take the needed break before the SEA Games begins in May.
During the trials last month, Giron was a second slower at 1:52.50, and got the attention of Posadas.
Masano said he hopes to be part of the national team in the 800-meters and in the 1500-meters as well, after bagging a silver medal back in 2019.
“Thankful ako na nakasali ako ulit. Last time hindi ako pinalad dahil nag-5th place. Napapag-usapan namin ni coach Jojo na babawi ako,” said Masano.
Ramirez, a criminology student at JRU, said that with his good showing, he would mostly likely make it to the national 4×400 meter relay team with Fil-American Umajesty Williams.
Earlier in the day, Mark Harry Diones prevailed in his showdown 2022 SEA Games bronze medallist Tran Van Dien after he took the gold with a 15.81 leap in the men’s triple jump.
Tran settled for the silver in 15.73 meters.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympics veteran Kristina Knott finally shook off the rust following an 11-month layoff due to injury, showing her form after she topped the women’s 100-meter finals in 11.87 seconds, which is 2/100ths of a second slower than what she did in the late-morning heats (11.85).
Malaysian Olympic veteran Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli challenged her again for a podium finish, and settled for second in 12.02 seconds, while University of Santo Tomas Lianne Pama came in third (12.08).
Knott is behind the 11.66-second bronze medal of the last SEA Games.
Defending SEA Games century dash champion Kayla Richardson missed the finals after she hurt her right thigh muscle during the qualifying round and finished sixth in 16.46 seconds.