Natalie Uy returns in style, plucks National Open pole vault gold

At a glance

  • Natalie Uy cleared 3.85 meters to beat fellow national athlete Alyana Nicolas, who settled for silver with 3.70m.

ILAGAN CITY – Natalie Uy swung back to action in style, putting up a golden performance despite the burning heat, the jetlag and the tough challenge from her competitors to rule women’s pole vault in the ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championships at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex Friday, March 25.

Fully recovered from a knee injury, Natalie Uy wins the pole vault gold in the Philippine Athletics Championships. (Rio Deluvio)


The national record holder cleared 3.85 meters to beat fellow national athlete Alyana Nicolas, who settled for silver with 3.70m, and iamari Kawachi, who copped the bronze after edging veteran Riezel Buenaventura via countback with 3.30m.

Coming off a knee injury and competing in her first tournament in four months, Uy had to shake off some rust early on by needing three attempts to clear 3.70m.

She passed 3.80m and went straight to 3.85m, clearing it with ease to retain the gold.

The 2019 Southeast Asian Games record holder tried to go for the tournament record of 4.05m but failed.

Apart from the tough challenge put up by her opponents, Uy said the competition was more of a mental game for her.

“Tough. It was tough with harsh conditions being so hot and so early. I’m coming off an injury so it’s just getting in the mental game. The most mentally tough that it’s been in a while. I’m glad for fighting through but it was difficult,” Uy said.

“Just very mentally tough and there’s a lot of pressure coming from the states to come across the world and to compete with the jetlag and the weird timing and everything so it’s mentally tough,” she added.

Meanwhile, national team member Aira Teodosio also showed her might in her pet event hammer throw by heaving 45.45m to bag her second gold.

Sonny Wagdos also edged Richard Salano by a hairline to win the 5000 meter race in 14 minutes and 56.98 seconds, just 0.1 second ahead of Salano’s 14:57.11.

Meanwhile, the 100m showdown between PH track stars Kristina Knott and Kayla Richardson in the finals won’t be happening after the latter appeared to have suffered right quad issues during the qualifying round.

Richardson missed the cut after clocking 16.60sec while Knott topped the qualifiers with a time of 11.25sec.