Sunang ready for another shot at Asiad glory

Marestella Torres-Sunang
Marestella Torres-Sunang

Long jump queen Marestella Torres-Sunang has kept her dominant form as she commits to continue competing for the country in various international events, including the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.

At 37, the three-time Olympian maintains she still has what it takes to mix it up with the best of the best, vowing to bring more honors to the country while keeping the trust of the track and field team’s chief supporters.

“There are still those who continue supporting not just me but the whole national track and field team,” said Sunang, referring to Ayala Corp., which underscored its long-term commitment to the national team by providing the country’s elite track and field athletes a home and state-of-the-art training center at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite through its real estate arm Ayala Land, Inc.

“Besides, I still love to compete,” said Sunang, one of the country’s best hopes for a gold medal in the Asian Games set Aug. 18-Sept. 2 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. Her national mark of 6.72 meters she set in the Kazakhstan Open in 2016 is actually better than Maria Natalia Londa’s gold medal winning 6.55 effort in the 2014 Asiad in South Korea.

Sunang added that the proximity of the Vermosa Sports Hub to her home in Bacoor makes it all the more conducive to her Asian Games buildup.

Unburdened by the stress and strain of daily commuting to and from the athletes’ old training venue at the Philsports Arena in Pasig to Cavite, Sunang said she now has more time to focus on her training and whip herself to competitive form.

She added that since the Vermosa oval is the only IAAF-certified track in the country, she and her teammates can now accurately monitor their performance and peg their progress based on international standards.

Along with access to a world-class track oval, Ayala also provides the PATAFA athletes a hydration program care of Manila Water Company’s Healthy Family Purified Water as well as financial support to help improve training and its recruitment programs.

With Ayala’s all-out support to PATAFA’s training and sports development program, Sunang and the rest of the national team expect to be in their best form when they slug it out with the region’s best in the quadrennial meet.