Maureen Emily Schrijvers

BAGUIO CITY—Track specialists Maureen Emily Schrijvers and Bernalyn Bejoy each won two gold medals and in the process made themselves the standard bearers for the national team as the two-day Ayala Philippine Athletics Championship came to a close in chilling conditions on Friday at the Athletic Bowl here.

With victory on top of the agenda and a good clocking on qualifying standards serving as second priority, Schrijvers and Bejoy proved a notch above the rest and joined an elite club of double gold winners and new team recruits and holdovers that also include returning Baguio icon Katherine Khay Santos and veteran sprinter Clinton Bautista.

Juggling her modelling career and innate love for running, Schrijvers, who has touches of Belgian and Chinese blood, stamped her class in the women’s 200 meter race in 26.03 seconds to beat the PATAFA grade of 26.50 seconds and handily fend off Karen Janario (27.05) and Ericka Carag (28.98).

It was her second mint after she topped the 400m hurdles on Thursday in a convincing time of 58.53 seconds which is well better than the national team standard of flat 60 seconds.

“I’m super happy because we only had two months of training here and before this we only had home workouts. I’m also grateful that I’ve performed at least above average,” said Schrijvers who won two bronze medals in the women’s 4×400 relay and 4×400 mixed relay in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Bejoy, on the other hand, timed 1:02.66 in women’s 400m hurdles to make the grade which is pegged at one minute and five seconds. She won the 800m race in 2:15.99 the previous day to also earn a spot in the national team.

Christine Hallasgo, the reigning SEA Games marathon champ and pride of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, had an easy victory in women’s 10,000m, crossing the line in 38 minutes and 22.54 seconds with the closest pursuer more than eight minutes late.

Melvin Calano was as impressive in men’s javelin throw after heaving the spear in 65.64 meters.

Van Alexander Obejas ruled the men’s 400m hurdles (55.52 seconds), while Leonard Grospe took the top honor in men’s high jump (2.06 meters).

Source: Manila Bulletin (