MANILA, Philippines - Marestella Torres-Sunang is used to proving doubters wrong. The 35-year-old long jumper, who is set to compete in her third straight Olympics, has a new challenge to overcome, and a new set of detractors to disprove.
Rio 2016 will be her first Olympiad since the birth of her son, Elemar Matvie, who is now two years old. Torres now finds new inspiration with competing for her son and husband, former shotput athlete Eliezer Sunang, as well as her country.
"People say that 'When you get pregnant you have no change, you have no hope.' I want to prove them wrong, if your dedication is still there you can still do it," says Sunang, one of 13 Filipino athletes who will compete at the Rio Games.
Torres showed just how dedicated she was when her automatic entry to Rio via universality was invalidated after Mary Joy Tabal qualified in the women's marathon event. In her final opportunity to qualify, Torres leapt past the 6.70 qualifying mark - to 6.72 meters - breaking her own national record and jumping back into Rio.
"I'm doing this for my son, I’m doing for the people who trust me. It was a major change, and I’m more inspired now than I was before," says Torres.
Torres is set to compete in the women's long jump event at 8:05 am on Wednesday, August 17 Manila time. Her goal for now is simple: make it to the finals and then see what happens. As they say in sports, anything can happen. – Rappler.com