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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The Philippines wrapped up its athletics campaign in the most thrilling way possible as its 4x400m relay crew struck gold after a photo finish at the Morodok Techo National Stadium here on Friday, May 12.
Frederick Ramirez, Umajesty Williams, Joyme Sequita, and Michael Carlo del Prado – the son of athletic icon Isidro del Prado Sr. – grabbed the spotlight in the final event of the athletics competitions, beating Thailand by just one hundredth of a second.
The Filipino quartet clocked 3:07.22 to escape with the crown as Thais Apisit Chamsri, Jirateep Bundee, Ruamchok Semathong, and Thawatchai Khongjeam narrowly missed the gold with a time of 3:07.23.
Malaysia’s Muhammad Firdaus Mohamad Zemi, Ruslem Zikry Putra Roseli, Tharsan Shanmugam, and Umar Osman finished almost two seconds later at 3:08.82 for the bronze.
Ramirez, Williams, Sequita, and Del Prado ended a decade-long gold drought for the Philippines in the event since Isidro del Prado Jr. – Michael’s older brother – along with Edgardo Alejan, Julius Nierra, and Archard Christian Bagsit ruled in the 2013 SEA Games.
What followed were a string of heartbreaks as the Philippines settled for silver in 2015, clinched back-to-back bronzes in 2017 and 2019, and failed to medal last year.
It was a decent haul for the Philippines in athletics as it nearly matched its gold tally of five in Vietnam last year with four in this edition.