JRU track star Diones lands historic triple jump gold
MANILA, Philippines - When Jose Rizal University recruited Harry Diones to its athletics squad four years ago, it merely noted that he and his older brother Nelbert came from the gold-producing town of Paracale, Camarines Norte.
Now JRU has struck a rich vein of gold medals and strong marks from Diones in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) track and field championship at the Philsports Arena on Friday, February 27.
Diones cleared 15.92 meters in his last attempt to win the triple jump, his third gold of the meet, in an unforgettable performance. This made the 22-year-old, 5-foot-10 Diones number 3 on the Philippines' triple jump all-time list.
JRU coach Jojo Posadas, in a phone interview with Rappler.com, said Diones took four jumps to recover his composure. "For the last two attempts, I told him we have nothing to lose and he should do his best to set a good mark," said Posadas.
Posadas said Diones, who is graduating with a criminology degree this semester, took off 30 centimeters from the foul line in his last try.
Diones won the 400 meters in 49.30 seconds on Thursday and led the JRU quartet with a 47.30 leg in the heats of the 4x400m relay. He also won the long jump with a personal best of 7 27 meters on Thursday.
Track statistician Andrew Pirie told Rappler.com Diones is behind Joebert Delicano's 16.12m, the national mark, and 15.96m by Benigno Marayag.
"He may have a chance in the Southeast Asian Games because the bronze two years ago is 16.26 meters," said Pirie in a phone interview.
JRU is leading the overall competition going into the final day of action on Saturday.