SINGAPORE - Veteran hammer thrower Arniel Ferrera doesn’t mind not winning the gold medal in the 28th Southeast Asian Games as long as fellow Filipino Caleb Stuart does.
Already a four-time gold medalist in the biennial meet, the 34-year-old Ferrera said he is at the point of his career where personal glory takes a back seat as Stuart now looms as the heavy favorite to win the event here.
Ferrera admitted this year’s edition of the Games is some sort of passing of the torch.
“Of course, aminin na natin sa hindi, nandyan si Caleb. Mas happy ako na makuha ni Caleb (ang gold) kesa sa ibang bansa pa,” said Ferrera, who settled for the silver medal in his pet event during the Myanmar edition of the sportsfest two years ago.
Chances of Stuart winning the gold, in Ferrera’s own words, are as clear as high definition tv.
The 24-year-old Stuart, a Fil-Am, threw 64.81 meters during the Philippine National Games last March.
The throw is several meters ahead of the 62.23 mark made by Tantipong Phetchaiya of Thailand in winning the gold two years ago.
“Mas gumanda ang training niya ngayon. Chances sa gold medal, lumilinaw na. Parang high definition,” said Ferrera.
The veteran thrower has been assisting Stuart during his stay in the Philippines and all the way to the SEA Games, although he’s been cautious not to overly coach the Fil-American whose mother is a Filipina.
“Ayaw ko naman magturo sa kanya kasi hindi ko naman nakikita ‘yung training niya. Technical events kasi kaya kailangan, coach niya talaga,” said Ferrera.
Despite the tall odds of winning back the gold with Stuart around, Ferrera said he doesn’t plan to retire although he admitted looking forward of coaching some day.
He has even discovered potential talents who were recruited by different schools, giving them free education through scholarships.
“Siguro kung papalarin, kaya ko naman maglaro pa. Ang ano naman, sana maiwasan lang ‘yung injury,” said Ferrera.