Philippine athletics chief thumbs down Palarong Pambansa 2018 records

Beatrice Go

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Philippine athletics chief thumbs down Palarong Pambansa 2018 records
The national athletics federation nullifies the records set by Veruel Verdadero, Eliza Cuyom, and Ann Katherine Quitoy as DepEd fails to follow protocol

MANILA, Philippines – Three national junior records were shattered in the Palarong Pambansa 2018, but the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) won’t recognize them after all. 

Calabarzon bets Veruel Verdadero and Eliza Cuyom, and Western Visayas’ Ann Katherine Quitoy broke decades-old records during the annual multi-sport event last week in Ilocos Sur.

But the event organized by the Department of Education (DepEd) failed to tap PATAFA representatives during the competition. Physical education teachers supervised the event.

Juico said the PATAFA officials – including national coaches and those supported by the IAAF – spotted during the games were only present for scouting purposes and talent identification.

“There were national coaches who’re also coaches of university teams and they must’ve been scouting. We sent some people supported by IAAF conducting talent identification,” added Juico.

DepEd also failed to use a wind gauge and electronic timing devices and only had teachers manually recording the results.

“They can recognize the records as Palaro records internally, but we [PATAFA] cannot because the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) will not allow it,”  PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico said in an interview with Rappler.

“First, they were using handheld instead of electronic [devices], you can’t use that anymore. Even the poorest countries have upgraded to something higher which is IAAF compliant. Using wind gauge [is a must], and I think there was no wind gauge there. You use wind gauge for the 100 meters, 200 meters, hurdles, long jump and triple jump.” 

OUTSTANDING. The 17-year-old Ann Katherine Quitoy from Bacolod City lords it over in girls’ javelin. File photo from Rappler

Juico added that recognizing the three Palaro records may put PATAFA in trouble with the international athletics federation.

“[We] cannot recognize [them] as national records because we might be suspended from the IAAF,” said Juico. “We are the guardians of the sport, just like the IAAF is the guardian of sports internationally. We have to ensure the sanctity of these records.”

Verdadero smashed the 38-year-old national junior record in the 100-meter dash after clocking 10.55 seconds, 14 milliseconds faster than the mark set by Julio Bayaban in 1979.

Cuyom set a time of 14.50 seconds in the 100-meter girls’ hurdles to erase the 15-second tally Julie Rose Forbes posted in the 2000 National Open.

Quitoy ripped the 20-year-old record in the girls’ javelin record of 44.54 meters set by Rosie Villarito in the 1998 National Open with a throw of 45.72 meters. 

STANDOUT. Eliza Cuyom shines in the 100-meter girls’ hurdles. Photo from Cuyom’s Facebook account.

Juico said Palaro officials only need to follow the proper procedure so that any record set in the annual games will be recognized. 

“They should follow the standard protocol: meet with us, tell us what are your plans, then we’ll tell them that these are the equipment, and we will work with the following people,” said Juico.

“There is no contract [with DepEd], but what they do is they write a letter and we’ll provide them a list of people that we will employ and sometimes they even request for some equipment to be used. That’s what [usually] happens, but this time, they wrote us a letter dated March 26 and we received the letter on April 5 – just days before Palaro – stating that these are the people whom we want to officiate the Palaro in Vigan. So I told them, it is us PATAFA who chooses the people not you.” –

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.