Kath Santos wins the women’s long jump during the Ayala Philippine Athletic Championships at Baguio City Athletic Bowl

BAGUIO CITY—Back to her usual playground and buoyed by the loud cheers from a sizable crowd, hometown hero Katherine Khay Santos delivered a performance to remember after topping the women’s long jump and century dash in lung-busting fashion on Thursday in the 2021 Ayala Philippine Athletics Championships at the Athletic Bowl here.

Under an unfamiliar sight of having to observe health protocols at all times, the 31-year-old Santos wowed the stadium with a superhuman-like feat when she beat national record-holder Marestella Torres-Sunang in long jump and took no breather to sprint from the dirt to the track to convincingly win the 100m run.

A mother of a 3-year-old boy, Santos leapt 6.06 meters in her first attempt to defeat Torres-Sunang who matched the distance but in her fourth try. Erika Marquez settled for bronze at 4.28m.

Undone with her business but with a few minutes to spare, Santos went straight to the track and won the race in 12.61 seconds. Erica Marie Ruto (12.81) and Ellah Therese Sirilan (13.13) followed suit in the event organized by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

“It’s my first time to compete here (at the Athletic Bowl) and it’s a different feeling. It’s good to be back and it felt like a homecourt advantage,” said Santos, who used the oval to train when she was a young athlete from the University of Baguio.

Itching for competition since the pandemic struck the sporting scene hard, Clinton Bautista clocked 10.86 seconds to rule the men’s 100m race. He was two strides faster than silver medallist Rocky Feller Ramos (11.02) and Vince Jayson Buhayan (11.03).

In the afternoon, Bautista stamped his class in the 110m hurdles—an event he dominated in the 2019 SEA Games—with a time of 14.42 seconds. Alvin John Vergel (14.92) and Van Alexander Obejas (15.04) completed the podium.

Elsewhere, Edwin Giron took a masterclass in men’s 800m (1:53.15), while Bernalyn Bejoy won in the distaff side (2:15.99)

John Albert Mantua heaved 47.76 meters to clinch the gold in men’s discus throw, while Janry Ubas bagged the top prize in men’s long jump (7.32m).

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/12/16/baguio-pride-pockets-two-golds-in-national-open/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=baguio-pride-pockets-two-golds-in-national-open)