Two Fil-Moroccans are set to join the national athletics’ team.
Guermali brothers Said and Yacine will train with the Philippine team, according to Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico.
The brothers specialize in middle and long-distance running and are being readied for their first international meet that they will join as members of the national squad.
“They have plenty of time to prepare for the 2021 Vietnam SEA Games, the 2022 Asian Games in Giangzhao and the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh and finally the 2024 Olympics in Paris,” said Juico, who added they have been in talks with the father, Adam, since 2016.
The 23-year-old Said and Yacine, 21, were supposed to join them in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But they were sidelined by injuries a few weeks before the games.
The Guermalis have successfully joined events in the 800 m, 1500m and 5000m distances.
Juico believes that the Guermalis will do well in the Vietnam SEA Games, predicting a 1-2 finish in the 1500-meters.
The existing SEA Games’ record in the 1500 is 4:06:53 and Said’s personal best time is 3:54:26, achieved in Portland on May 16, 2016.
On the other hand, Yacine’s is even better at 3:48:91, which he clocked on May 11, 2019.
In the 5000, the existing SEA Games record is 14:31:15 versus Yacine’s personal best of 14:02.64 on April 19, 2019 at Palo Alto, California.
“Both the boys’ records are, interestingly, threatening the Asian Games’ mark,” said Juico.
The Guermali boys are from the Quilban clan of cycling fame, based in Pangasinan but whose roots are in Nueva Vizcaya.