Capas, Tarlac—In track races where winning or losing is determined by hundredths of a second, technique is always the key to victory.
Clinton Kingsley Bautista proved this again as he leaned forward at the finish line to snatch the gold from rival Rayzam Wan Sofian of Malaysia in the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the New Clark City Stadium here Monday.
Bautista wowed a big hometown crowd that came to cheer for their heroes on Day 4 of the 30th Southeast Asian Games athletics meet.
The 27-year-old Bautista and the Malaysian both submitted a similar time of 13.97. A review revealed that Bautista, who had better extension as he leaned forward, crossed ahead of his opponent.
Bautista, who hails from Camiling, Tarlac, benefitted from his move, as this earned him the gold medal during his closely-fought encounter with Sofian, who settled for the silver
This is the first time that Bautista has gone below 14 seconds after clocking 14.06 seconds during the Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar last April.
“Hindi ko inexpect ito. Pero may target kami ng coach na mag 13 seconds ako,” said Bautista, who is coached by Dario Darosas.
This put Bautista closer to the national record of 13.91 seconds, which Patrick Unso clocked during the 2017 Thailand Open.
Laotian runner Anousone Xaysa settled for the bronze with a time of 13.99 seconds.
Meanwhile, Melvin Calano heaved 72.86 meters to claim the men’s javelin throw gold.
This was an improvement from the 65.94 meters which earned him the bronze in 2017.
Abdul Hafiz of Indonesian settled for the silver again at 71 meters, his effort higher than the 69.3 meters he made two years ago.
Hoai van Nguyen of Vietnam took the bronze at 70.88 meters. Peter Atencio