Focus on Caleb Stuart, Ernest Obiena as SEA Games athletics competitions go full swing
Caleb Stuart (left) is one of a handful of Philippine track and field athletes expected to deliver gold. Reuben Terrado

SINGAPORE — Competitions in athletics go full swing on Tuesday with hammer thrower Caleb John Stuart and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena expected to deliver gold medals for Team Philippines in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Stuart will be competing alongside veteran countryman Arniel Ferrera in the men’s hammer throw at 9:30 a.m. at the Singapore National Stadium against four other athletes.

The Philippines is confident as Stuart has logged a season-best of 67.24 meters. Tantipong Phetchaiya of Thailand owns the Games record of 62.23m, set two years ago in Myanmar, but has only recorded a best of 57.42m this season.

Malaysia’s Jackie Siew Wong owns a season and personal best 63.71m, while former champion Ferreira has not done well this season with 57.34m, a far cry from his personal best 62.62m.

Meanwhile, Obiena is also among the favorites after clearing 5.21m in September, matching the SEA Games record of Thai Kreeta Sintawacheewa, an absentee in these Games, set in 2009 in Laos. Malaysia’s Iskandar Alwi (5.20m) is the biggest threat.

Also among the athletes to watch is Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray, who recently qualified for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The former three-time All-American will run the 100m heats scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

Kayla Richardson (11.78 seconds) and Princess Griffey (11.54s) will also run Tuesday’s heats of the women’s 100m where the Games record of 11.28s which Lydia de Vega set in Jakarta n 1987 remains unbroken. De Vega is now based in Singapore as an athletics coach for a local high school.

Also competing on Tuesday are Jesson Cid and Janry Ubas in decathlon and Mark Harry Diones in men’s triple jump.

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