MANILA – Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) long jump champion Janry Ubas is setting his sights on the gold medal when he debuts at the Asian Championships scheduled to be held in Pattaya, Thailand on July 12-16.
"I'm excited because it's my first time to compete in the Asian Championships. My goal is to win the gold medal and I will do my very best to achieve that," Ubas said in an interview on Friday.
His brilliant performance at the Cambodia SEAG where he won the gold medal in the long jump (7.85m) and the silver medal in the decathlon (with a new Games record of 8.08m in the long jump) has boosted the confidence of the 29-year-old native of Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental.
"Winning my first SEAG gold medal was a dream come true. I'm so happy. All the hard work paid off," said Ubas, who made his first SEAG appearance in 2015 (Singapore).
He kicked off the 2023 season with a gold medal at the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships in Ilagan City, Isabela province where he registered 7.84m to eclipse the 7.80m set by 2021 Vietnam SEA Games champion Nguyen Tie Trong.
On May 28, he joined the Taiwan Athletics Open and got the silver medal (7.95m).
"What I'm really preparing for is the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. I have to train harder to improve my performance," said Ubas, whose first stint at the 2018 Asian Games was in Jakarta, Indonesia where he placed 13th in the qualifying round.
Leading the Philippine delegation in the Asian Championships are world No. 3 pole vaulter Ernest John "EJ" Obiena and eight-time SEAG champion Eric Cray (400m).
Other members of the team are Umajesty Williams (men's 400m and 4x400m, and mixed 4x400m), Michael Carlo del Prado (men's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m), Frederick Ramirez (men's 400m and 4x400m), Joyme Sequita (men's 4x400m), Maureen Schrijvers (women's 400m and 4x400m), Robyn Brown (women's 400m Hurdles and 4x400m, and mixed 4x400m), Bernalyn Bejoy (women's 800m and 4x400m), Jessel Lumapas (women's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m), Sonny Wagdos (men's 5000m and 10,000m), John Cabang Tolentino (men's 110m Hurdles), Clinton Bautista (men's 110m Hurdles), William Morrison (men's shot put), Aries Toledo (men's decathlon), Johnmike Lera (men's decathlon), Arlan Arbois (men's 10,000m), Gennah Malapit (women's javelin throw), Joida Gagnao (women's 3000m steeplechase), Ronne Malipay (men's triple jump), Sarah Dequinan (women's heptathlon) and Kristina Knott (women's 100m and 200m).
Coaches Jojo Posadas, Sean Guevara, Dario de Rosas, Danilo Fresnido, Eduardo Buenavista, Emerson Obiena, Isidro del Prado, Martin ela Fuente (Spanish coach of Cabang), Samantha Cray (wife-coach of Eric) and Vitaly Petrov (Ukranian coach of EJ) will accompany the athletes.
Also joining the trip are Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) president Agapito Capistrano, executive vice president Guillermo Torres, secretary general Edward Kho, national training director Renato Unso, and Jasper Tanhueco, who will serve as team manager.
Aside from Obiena and Cray, the other Cambodia SEAG medalists in the team are Ramirez (bronze, 400m); del Prado, Ramirez, Sequita, and Williams (gold, men's 4x400m relay); Arbois (silver, marathon); Williams (silver, 400m); Wagdos (1500m); Gagnao (3000m steeplechase); Brown (400m); Malipay (silver, triple jump); Dequinan (heptathlon); Malapit (silver, javelin throw); Bejoy, Brown, Lumapas and Schrijvers (silver, 4x400m relay); Brown, Lumapas, Ramirez, and Williams (bronze, mixed 4x400m relay); Toledo (bronze, decathlon); and Tolentino (bronze, 110m hurdles). (PNA)