PATAFA optimistic of PH chances in Paris Games

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At a glance


    The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) has high hopes that pole vault star EJ Obiena, and hurdlers Lauren Hoffman and John Cabang Tolentino can deliver outstanding performances in the nearing Paris Olympics set July 26 to Aug. 11.

    ej obiena asiad
    EJ Obiena (File)

    PATAFA secretary general Jasper Tanhueco is optimistic that the trio can break the country's 88-year medal drought in athletics, or since Miguel White took the men's 400m hurdles bronze in the 1936 Berlin Games.

    “We’re positive and confident that they are gonna perform at their highest level,” said Tanhuenco in Tuesday’s PSA Forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Smart/PLDT, MILO, and ArenaPlus, the leading sports entertainment in the Philippines.

    “‘Yon naman din ang goal nila, they’re not there just to participate but hopefully to bring medals for our country,” he added.  

    “We’re positive, I don’t want to put pressure on these guys. They’ve been training really hard to reach this stage.”

    Hoffman is currently in Durham, North Carolina while Cabang is staying in Spain with his coach. Both of them will fly to Metz, France on July 23 to continue their preparations.

    Obiena, on the other hand, is already in Paris and will vie in the qualifying round Aug. 3 while Hoffman and Cabang will compete in the heats of their respective events on Aug. 4.

    “EJ has had a lot of challenges, and high competitions. He knows already to compete at the highest level, we believe in him,” he concluded.