The Asia Masters Athletics Championships (AMAC) is a biennial athletics championships in Asia participated in by athletes over the age of 35. It is the Asian version of the World Masters (formerly Veterans) Athletic Championships inaugurated in 1975 held every two odd-numbered years. The 1st World Masters/Veterans Athletic Championships were held in Toronto, Canada in 1975. Hari Chandra from Singapore, found himself attending it. At these Championships he met Japanese participant Mr. Hideo Okada, the then President of Nippon Turtles. They met again in Gotenberg Sweden(2nd Masters) and decided to organize a version of the Championships on the Asian level. On return to Singapore, Mr Hari Chandra contacted Milkha Singh of India, and the three of them met at Christchurch (NZ) in 1981, and as a result, the 1st Asia Championships were held in Singaporein August 1981.
The Philippine participation in AMAC could be traced back to as early as 1996. That was for the 9th AMAC held in October in Seoul, South Korea. Last year’s Philippine campaign spearheaded by athletics legends Elma Muros-Posadas and Linda Lavandia was a bumper crop. A total of 8 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals were bagged by the unrelenting and gutsy Pinoy tracksters.
This year’s edition of the AMAC, Team Philippines, a 19-strong team composed of mainly former national athletes left for Kitakami City, Japan last September 18 to compete with the rest of Asia in the 18th Asia Masters Athletics Championships aiming to match or even surpass this achievement. The simple send-off ceremony and media launch were supported by L TIMESTUDIO and SOMA sports watch in coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. On the eve of the Team’s departure, another sponsor came forward to extend help. El Lobo energy drink sponsored the daily event shirt of our athletes. Now that’s what I call good news!
And, just a quick update on results for Team Philippines:
Source: Edward Kho, one of the participants
Day 1 – September 19
Erlinda Lavandia | Hammer Throw (Women’s) | 21.27m | Bronze Medal
Margarito Baniqued | 5000m Walk (Men’s) | 32:38.57 | Bronze Medal
Day 2 – September 20
Erlinda Lavandia | Discus Throw (Women’s) | 20.62m | Bronze Medal
Erlinda Lavandia | Shot Put (Women’s) | 8.64m | Silver Medal
Day 3 – September 21
Day 4 – September 22
Erlinda Lavandia | Javelin Throw (Women’s) | 30.05m | Gold Medal
Emerson Obiena | Pole Vault (Men’s) | 4.00m | Gold Medal
John Lozada | 800m (Men’s) | 2:11.08 (minutes) | Bronze Medal
Day 5 – September 23
Danilo Fresnido | Javelin Throw ( Men’s) | 60.48m, a new Asia men’s record | Gold Medal
Men’s 4x400m | Bronze Medal
John Lozada, Emerson Obiena, Edward Kho, Julio Bayaban
Women’s 4x100m | Bronze Medal
Elenita Punelas, Salve Bayaban, Jeanette Obiena, Victorina Calma
Their successful journey was made possible by Soma Sports watch, L Time Studio, Petron, San Miguel, El Lobo energy drink, Philippine Sports Commission, POC, and PATAFA.
Congratulations, Team Philippines! Laban Pilipinas!