CHINESE-TAIPEI - Gloom descended on Team Philippines when top bet Elma Muros-Posadas was carried out of her lane with an injury, leaving Erlinda Lavandia's record-setting performance in the javelin event as the only bright spot on the third day of the 17th Asia Masters Athletics Championships on Sunday.
Muros-Posadas was the overwhelming favorite to win the gold medal in the women's 80-meter hurdles for women 45-49 years old when disaster struck. She had the clear lead after clearing two bars when she suffered a pulled right hamstring and fell in pain after failing to clear two more.
The injury was later iced in the Taipei City Sports Park clinic and she was made to rest for more than an hour.
Delegation head and National Masters and Seniors Athletic Association of the Philippines (NMSAAP) president Manny Ibay said Muros-Posadas will be under observation in the next three days although Ibay is doubtful if the bemedalled athlete will be able to recover in time for her favorite long jump event on Tuesday.
"We are concerned about her health, we don't want to push Elma further," said Ibay, who admitted that Muros-Posadas' sidelining will diminish the country's chances of meeting its initial target of winning 10 gold medals in this event for veteran athletes.
The loss dampened the spirit of the Philippine delegation, which earlier celebrated Lavandia's record-breaking victory in the javelin event for women 60-64 years old.
Lavandia now owns all javelin throw records in the 40 (set in Jakarta, 1994), 45 (Okinawa, 1998), 50 (Dalian, China 2002), and 55 years old (Kuala Lumpur, 2010).
Lavandia 's new mark was at 32.26 meters, clinched with her sixth and final heave. She eclipsed the old record of 27.36 meters set by Kato Atsuko of Japan in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2009.
Lavandia's performance, however, belied the difficulty she faced in gaining control of the 400-gram spear, which she explained was far lighter than the 600-gram javelin she is accustomed to using.
Lavandia's gold upped the Philippines' medal haul in this competition to three gold medals, counting those of Muros-Posadas and Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito.
These are on top of the three silver medals won by Victorina Calma in the women's 35-39 years old 800-m run, John Lozada in the 800-meter race for men 35-39 years old, and Aurora Ramos in the 100-m dash for women 50-54 years old.
Muros-Posadas won the gold medal in the 100m dash for women 45-49 years old on Saturday, complimenting Bulaitan-Gabito's own gold in the 100m race for women 35-39 years old on the same day.
"Wala na siguro, Elma is our anchor here. She was pacing herself for the long jump and the 4x100m relay before she was injured," Ibay added.
With Muros-Posadas out, Kaori Nishizawa of Japan, who was two jumps behind before the top Philippine bet was injured, won the gold medal in 13.48 seconds and was followed by Minoti Sachidanand Prasad of India (16.45) and R.W.D. Gunasekava of Sri Lanka (17.56).