Sonny Wagdos claims men’s 5K silver in PH Athletics Championships 2024

SILVER FINISH. Defending champion Sonny Wagdos loses to FilAm Sports athlete Yacine Guermali in the men’s 5,000-meter run to claim the silver medal instead at the start of The ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships 2024 at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City on Wednesday morning, May 8.
SILVER FINISH. Defending champion Sonny Wagdos loses to FilAm Sports athlete Yacine Guermali in the men’s 5,000-meter run to claim the silver medal instead at the start of The ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships 2024 at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City on Wednesday morning, May 8.JEZZA WAGDOS PHOTO

Former University of Mindanao (UM) standout Sonny Wagdos secured the silver medal in the men's 5,000-meter run as The ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships 2024 kicked off at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City on Wednesday morning, May 8.

Representing the national team, the 30-year-old Wagdos failed to defend his title from last year, finishing behind FilAm Sports athlete Yacine Guermali, who clinched the gold medal in the national open.

Guermeli, 24, a recent graduate from Gonzaga University in Washington, USA, clocked 14 minutes and 18.83 seconds (14:18.83), while Wagdos finished with a time of 14:54.95. Noli Torre of the Spectrum Runners Philippines Team took the bronze with a time of 15:05.00.

Wagdos, in a Messenger call interview with SunStar Davao on Wednesday morning, said:

Di gyud makaya, Maam, hastang kusuga gyud atong Fil-foreigner. Pag-start pa lang lagi, nag-lead na sya all the way. Dili madikitan, gahi kaayo.

Sonny Wagdos

(I couldn't keep up, Ma'am; the Fil-foreigner was incredibly fast. Right from the start, he took the lead and maintained it throughout. We couldn't catch up with him; he was too strong.)."

Wagdos trailed Guermali by about 150 meters but appreciated the opportunity to race against such a strong competitor.

"Na-challenge gyud ko. Wala man nako ma-break akong personal best time, nagpasalamat gihapon ko sa higayon makalaban ang mga kusog. Na-break man hinuon nako akong season best time (I was really challenged. Even though I didn't beat my personal best time, I'm still grateful for the chance to compete with the best. I did surpass my season best time)," Wagdos added. His personal best time is 14:34.

He will compete again in the 1,500-meter run on the final day of competition on May 12, though he acknowledges the challenge posed by Guermali's participation in the race.

He aims to improve his best time and will be content with that achievement.

Meanwhile, UM trackster Andrea De Guia qualified for the women's 400-meter run finals, placing seventh after the heats.

Other UM varsity track and field athletes seeing action are Philippine National Games (PNG) triple gold medalist Lyka Catubig, Angeline R. Reponte, Kate Duffy Gel G. McDowell, Bernadette F. Mendiola, Johnny Gil A. Meder, Dharlie Joey B. Baguisan, Adrean S. Cabacang, Jully Jan V. Molinos, Kenneth P. Alipan, Khristian Val B. Munoz, Sofia Jean B. Bangunan, EJ A. Sanchez, and Kenneth P. Alipan. MLSA

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