RIO DE JANEIRO — Marestella Torres-Sunang hopes someone will be able to follow her footsteps as the Philippines’ undisputed queen of the long jump in the near future.
Torres-Sunang has competed in her third and final Olympics here and is set to call time on a career that saw her followe in the footsteps of Elma Muros-Posadas and Lerma Balauitan-Gabito as the country’s top long jumpers.
She plans to see compete in the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games in the coming years and expressed hope that, by that time, someone will be able to take over to fly the flag for the country in the long jump.
“Nakakalungkot na matanda na ako, ako pa rin. Para tuloy pinipilit ko sarili ko,” Torres-Sunang, 35, admitted to Filipino reporters covering the Olympics here.
Torres-Sunang said the current practice of athletes competing in several events is one of the reasons behind the absence of someone who can take over from her as the Philippines' next hope in long jump.
“Pagdating sa college, marami na events, hindi lang long jump ang sinasalihan. Tatakbo ng six na events, walang focus,” she said.
Torres-Sunang recalled during her days with Far Eastern University in the UAAP where she will only compete in the long jump.
“Ako kasi dati nung college, focus ko lang sa long jump. Nagagalit ako na tumatakbo ako,” said Torres-Sunang.
Torres-Sunang noted the difficulties in training for the long jump is possibly one of the reasons why athletes embrace it. She added the event also has a lot of requirements.
“Siguro mahirap kasi ‘yung event ko. Tiyagaan talaga. Sa akin kasi, maliit ako, ‘yung training ko, ginagawa ko two times, three times sa iba kasi maliit ako. Kung malaki ka, hindi mo kailangan mag-effort. Tapos ang hirap ng jumper, madumi, hindi ka puwedeng mag-train mag-isa,” she said.