(Reuters) - The Philippines has been scouring the United States to poach sporting talent and seem to have struck gold with thrower Caleb Stuart but some of his potential opponents at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games are questioning his eligibility.
The 24-year-old has targeted gold in the hammer and shot put at the biennial event for the 11 Southeast Asian nations in Singapore and has not ruled out competing in the discus.
On Sunday, he picked up his third gold medal at the Philippines Open-Invitational Athletics championships by winning the discus after impressive victories earlier in his pet events which qualified him for the June 5-16 multi-sport event.
MANILA, Philippines—Athletics chief Philip Ella Juico boldly promised Tuesday eight gold medals for the Philippine track and field team in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
“We’re very optimistic and right now we’re looking at eight (golds),” said the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) president in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
He said the gold-medal prospects are Archand Christian Bagsit (400 meters), Eric Shaun Cray (400m hurdles), Christopher Ulboc Jr. (3,000m steeplechase), Henry Dagmil (long jump), decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid and the 4x400m relay team of Isidro Del Prado Jr., Edgardo Alejan Jr., Julius Nierras and Bagsit, who accounted for the six golds the country won in the 2013 Burma (Myanmar) Games.
MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Am thrower Caleb Stuart primed himself up for a record feat in the Southeast Asian Games in June as he heaved 68.66 meters in the Ben Brown meet in Los Angeles over the weekend, topping the SEAG hammer throw mark by over six meters.
Stuart, a 6-2, 250-pound former University of California-Riverside standout who acquired a Philippine passport recently, eclipsed not only his personal record of 67.24 but also the current SEAG mark of 62.23 held by Thai Tantiphong Phetchaiya, according to Philippine Sports Commission consultant Andrew Pirie in his blog pinoyathletics.info.
He also shattered the national record of 61.69 by Arniel Ferrera by about seven meters.
Even as Asian and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Daniel Caluag is only 28 with many more years of competitive BMX (bicycle motocross) cycling ahead, he’s now thinking of developing future riders to follow in his tracks. The Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Athlete of the Year isn’t just thinking of his own career. He’s also hoping that others will be as committed in performing and gaining honors for the country.
“Not sure exactly when I’ll finish BMX,” noted Caluag in an e-mail from Lexington, Kentucky, where he lives with wife Stephanie and their baby daughter Sydney. “But as I said before, I’m taking it one day at a time. I will continue to help Philippine cycling in developing future riders.”
Caluag represented the Philippines at the 2012 London Olympics and later brought along his younger brother Christopher, 26, to compete with him at the SEA Games in Myanmar in 2013 and the Asian Games in Incheon last year. Christopher bagged a silver in Myanmar and finished fourth in Incheon. Caluag isn’t the type to hog the limelight. He’s willing to share center stage and give way to others who may be able to reap more honors for the nation.
MANILA, Philippines - The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) has named 18 candidates to fill six male and four female slots for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore on June 5-16. While eight of the 18 nominees bagged medals at the last SEA Games in Myanmar two years ago, the list excludes London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga and 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Charly Suarez who were barred from participating by AIBA (International Boxing Association) because they are ranked in the top eight of their divisions and qualified to fight in the APB (AIBA Pro Boxing) for the chance to advance to the 2016 Olympics.
ABAP executive director Ed Picson said despite the absence of Barriga and Suarez in Singapore, the Philippine team will be deep enough to reap high honors. In Myanmar, the Philippines collected three gold, four silver and three bronze medals in boxing. The goal is to surpass the haul.
Each country is limited to six male and four female fighters in the SEA Games. ABAP submitted 18 names, including five females, to the POC and PSC for accreditation. The cast will be trimmed to a maximum of 10 in late April or early May. Head coach Pat Gaspi will recommend the final roster to ABAP chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, president Ricky Vargas, secretary-general Patrick Gregorio and Picson.
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine sailing team is looking at three gold medals in the 28th Southeast Asian Games set June 5 to 16 in Singapore.
“I think we have a very good chance in the SEA Games. We will be able to get at least three,” said Philippine deputy chef de mission and sailing chief Judes Echauz, who is fielding a 13-member squad made up of eight men and five women.
Echauz, also a board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said the golden prospects are in the keelboat and international 470 class events.
MANILA, Philippines - Two crack Filipino fighters who are virtual shoo-ins for medals at the Southeast Asian Games won’t be able to join the Singapore competitions this year as Mark Anthony Barriga and Charly Suarez are mandated by AIBA to participate in the Olympic qualifiers through the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) program that gathers the top contenders in 10 divisions to determine world champions from lightflyweight to superheavyweight.
ABAP executive director Ed Picson said yesterday his hands are tied because of the AIBA ruling but guaranteed the absence of Barriga and Suarez won’t hamper the country’s drive for medals in Singapore. The APB begins its inaugural season in different venues next month. Barriga is ranked No. 3 in the lightflyweight division by AIBA and will participate in the APB which starts action in the 46-49 kilogram category in China. Suarez is ranked No. 3 in the lightweight class which begins hostilities in Kazakhstan. The top 8 in each division are seeded to compete in the APB where each fighter is assured of four bouts a season with a minimum purse of $3,000 per outing.
The top two placers of each division in the APB will receive automatic tickets to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Fights are scheduled from six to eight to 10 and for world championship bouts, to 12 rounds. Fighters wear no headgear and singlets. AIBA will give 20 percent of the gross purses of fighters to their national federation over and above what they take home. In the case of Barriga and Suarez, the ABAP is the national federation that will receive the windfall from AIBA.