MANILA, Philippines – A 6-foot-1 find from Roxas City stole the thunder by battling the top seeds in the 400 meters before finishing second in the Ayala Philippine Athletics Championships in Ilagan, Isabela on Friday, June 1.
Joyme Sequita, a 23-year-old criminology graduate, finished second in 47. 34 behind winner Dilip Ruwan of Sri Lanka, who won in 46.87.
Sequita, who drew the tough lane 1 but kept pace in a very fast first 200 meters, clocked 22 seconds unofficially.
In the last 50 meters, the runners began to tighten. As Ruwan powered ahead, it was Sequita’s finish that allowed him to nose out MG Ajith Premakumara. The Sri Lankan was third in 47.65.
The hard pace led people to believe that the 33-year-old national mark of 45.57 by Isidro del Prado will be broken.
But Sequita’s performance and the 5th-place finish of rookie Frederick Ramirez of Jose Rizal University, who did 48.07, were more than enough to make up for the poor form of national team members.
Sequita, who represented Mapua, and Ramirez were the only Filipinos in the final.
“ We have to fix many things with him but his knee action in the finish helped a lot,” said Sequita’s coach, Ernie Candelario in a phone interview.
“ He is a real sprinter-type 400-meter man,” added Candelario, a former SEA Games 400m champion.
Candelario spotted Sequita two years ago in the PRISAA. He said every year, he would ask Sequita to join training sessions.
“He stil has to build muscle that’s why he can’t use the (starting) blocks much,” said Candelario. “But we will get there.” – Rappler.com