Struggling to cope with an unfamiliar event, 17-year-old sports climber Gerald Verosil found the going rough and bowed out of the men’s speed event after finishing 18th in the eliminations at the Jakabaring Sports City in Palembang, Indonesia on Thursday.
The Singapore-based Verosil, who is the youngest Team Pilipinas player, lost his grip early while scaling up the 12-meter (37-foot), man-made wall to clock 10.66 seconds on his first try before improving slightly with 7.95 seconds on his second attempt.
The improved time, however, was not enough for him to make the cut of 16 qualifiers into the knockout round led by China’s Zhong Qizin, who had the fastest time of 5.82 seconds, a wink faster than Iranian runner-up Ali Pour Reza (5.83). Indon Sabri Sabri was third (5.94).
But Verosil was not flustered by the result of his initial Asian Games, event and relished the experience of just being here, saying: “The best of the best are here, and the speed event is not really my best one. I will just do my best and enjoy myself.
“It is really an honor to represent the country in the Asian Games. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”
“You have to understand that the speed event is something new to Gerald and you have several World Cup veterans here,” explained coach Jason Suaco of his ward’s lackluster form.
“I hope he can come back in the bouldering tomorrow, which is really his event.”