EXPECTATIONS are high for triple jumper Mark Harry Diones and sprinter Michael del Prado.
Their performance in the recent the 2017 Ayala Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships in Ilagan, Isabela has caught the eye of the coaches of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.
“Inaasahan po natin ang (mga) batang ito na, in the future, mabigyan ng magandang training,” said Patafa secretary general Reynato Unso.
Unso spoke highly of the 23-year-old Diones during yesterday’s weekly PSA Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
Diones drew raves after he shattered the existing national record in triple jump.
Because of this, Diones is sure to earn a seat in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The 5’11” Diones, who is coached by Jojo Posadas at Jose Rizal University, cleared 16.70 meters on his sixth and last try.
He did not just break the 16.2 meter national mark that he himself set in the weekly relay finals last year. Diones, who is from Libmanan, Camarines Sur, is within the gold medal standard of the Southeast Asian Games.
In the last SEA Games, Malaysian Muhammad Hakimi Ismail held it after winning the gold after clearing 16.76m.
Unso said Del Prado, who is the son of the legendary Isidro Del Prado, beat members of the national team to get the silver in the men’s 400 meters with a time of 48.47 seconds.
The elder del Prado still holds the national record in the 400 meters of 45.57 seconds he set in 1981.
Ryan Bigyan who won the 400 meters race in 48.39 seconds.
The young del Prado outpaced Edgardo Alejan, who settled for third in 48.60 seconds, followed by fourth-placer Archand Bagsit and Joan Caido, who was sixth.