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    Another Games letdown for teary-eyed Torres

    Aug 8, 2012
    The best Marestella Torres could do was 6.22 meters, way off her personal best of 6.71m and short of the 6.40m that would have been enough to put her through to the finals. Associated Press

    LONDON -- Marestella Torres of Team Philippines missed making the finals in long jump for the second time in a disappointing performance that left her in tears on a rainy Tuesday night in the 30th London Games at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

    Saying she felt some muscle pains as she warmed up for the event, the 32-year-old Torres jumped to a distance of 6.22 meters in her third and final attempt as she bombed out making the final round in her second Olympic appearance.  

    Torres eventually finished 22nd in a field of 30, unable to find the form that once made her do a 6.71m in a triumphant campaign last year in the Southeast Asian Games. Shara Proctor of Great Britain topped the qualifying with a 6.83-m leap.

    “Ewan ko ba nanakit ang mga muscles ko sa warm-up pa lang,” Marestella told a Team Philippines official as swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi gave her a comforting hug on her way to her room.

    Tears started to fall as Torres searched for the answer on why she jumped nowhere near her personal best, which could have easily landed her a berth in the championship round scheduled Wednesday.

    “Parang napasukan ng lamig. Nag-iba na naman kasi ang weather in the last few days. Sayang ang paghahanda ko. Alam ko prepared ako ngayon. Disappointed ako talaga,” said Torres.

    The 12th qualifier—Veronika Shutkova of Bulgaria—made 6.40 meters on her last attempt, which Torres had achieved several times in two international tournaments she competed in ahead of the London Games.

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    So Torres ended up a big flop again as she mirrored the same forgettable finish she had during the Beijing Olympics four years ago.

    With the loss of Marestella, the 11-member Team Philippines found itself reduced to only two men as it continued to struggle in the face of high-powered opposition in this greatest, toughest sporting show on earth.

    These two are Filipino-American BMX rider Danny Caluag and 5,000-meter bet Rene Herrera, who were to see action on Wednesday with the former given a slim chance of figuring in the medal clash and the latter none at all.

    Despite the debacle, Torres said retiring is still farthest from her mind.

    “Tatalon pa rin. Kung wala pang tatalo sa akin sa atin, siyempre gusto ko pa ring lumaban sa international tournaments,” said Torres, now on her 12th year as national team member.

    Torres found out there was something wrong with her when she jumped to a poor 5.98 in her first attempt, before breaking the six-meter barrier in the second with a 6.21.

    Despite the muscle pain, Torres persevered and went for it in her third and final attempt.

    Too bad, all she could do was improve by less than an inch. 

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    The best Marestella Torres could do was 6.22 meters, way off her personal best of 6.71m and short of the 6.40m that would have been enough to put her through to the finals. Associated Press
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