The Philippine athletics team suffered a setback on Sunday after one of its medal bets, reigning Southeast Asian Games decathlon champion Aries Toledo, hurt his right elbow while warming up for his afternoon events.
Toledo began his bid on a bright note on Saturday as he placed second in the first event of his discipline, clocking 10.84 in the 100m behind Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Jasem Al Qaree (10.77).
He even placed second in the 110m hurdles early Sunday with a 14.85 clocking, just a tad behind Korea’s Choo Donghwi, who ran 14.27.
But while he was preparing for the pole vault, javelin and his pet event, the 1,500 meters, at around 12:30pm on Sunday he fell on the pole vault cross bar as he missed the practice height, the crossbar pinning his right elbow that swelled right away.
The coaching staff decided to pull him out of the games.
“It’s a setback on our medal campaign as Toledo was well on his way to a podium finish when the accident occurred,” rued Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Dr. Philip Juico.
It was the second time in two years that pole vault injuries have created havoc on PATAFA’s intense medal campaign as Asian Championship bronze medalist EJ Obiena suffered an ACL injury while practicing on the eve of his departure for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The athletics’ team is determined to end the Philippines’ 24-year medal drought in the Asian Games as the last time a medal of any color was achieved was during the 1994 Hiroshima Asiad, courtesy of Elma Muros, whose 6.41-meter leap in the long jump competitions was worth a bronze.