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Philippines' Muros-Posadas extends long jump win streak to 16 years

Philippines' MurosPosadas extends long jump win streak to 16 years
Dean Visser (AP)

8 August 1999 – Bandar Seri Begawab, Brunei - After 16 years, Elma Muros-Posadas is still winning Southeast Asian Games long jump gold medals. After her latest Sunday, she said she might reconsider plans to retire.

The 32-year-old mother of a 7-year-old daughter is a sports heroine back in the Philippines, thanks to more than 20 medals in SEA Games athletics over the years.

She won long jump gold No. 8 Sunday with a leap of 6.34 metres, 7 centimetres better than Vietnam's Nguyen Bich Van and Philippine compatriot Lerma Elmira Buluitan.

Muros-Posadas, whose husband is her coach, has a chance for more gold here in the heptathlon. She shattered the heptathlon record at the last SEA Games in Jakarta in 1997 with 5,269 points - 65 above the old record.

Speaking in her native Tagalog, she told reporters she had been planning to retire, but would reconsider after Sunday's win.

Meanwhile, Jirasak Suthichat's main thought after winning the 3000 metre steeplechase was: "The first thing I want to do is go home.''

The 22-year-old Thai had been away for more than a year, training in Bangkok, 590 kilometres (366 miles) north of his hometown of Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

The result was a runaway victory in 9 minutes, 3.96 seconds over Filipino Eduardo Buenavista, who won silver in 9:10.08 after leading for half a lap late in the race. Ganesan Subramaniam of Malaysia won the bronze in 9:18.50.

Jirasak stayed in second or third place among six runners during most of the race, but suddenly surged metres ahead of the tight pack in the last lap.

"I miss my parents, and dedicate this win to them,'' he told reporters in Thai after the race, tears streaming down his face.

Traditional SEA Games powerhouses Thailand and Indonesia dominated opening day action in track and field, with Thais winning three gold medals and Indonesians two.

In the race to claim honours as the region's fastest man, Thailand's Reanchai Seeharwong won the 100 metres in 10.26 seconds. Compatriot Vissanu Sophanich took silver in 10.39, and Malaysia's Watson Nyambek bronze in 10.45.

Indonesia's Irene Yoseph was the fastest woman sprinter, winning her 100-metre race in 11.56. Trecia Robert and Supavadee Khawpeag, both of Thailand, took silver and bronze medals in 11.61 and 11.75.

Only two women entered the 5000 metres, and Indonesian Supriati Sutono won in 17:12.98. Thailand's Viraiwan Kumpitak lagged half a lap behind during the last third of the race and finished in 17:55.47.

On the field, Singapore's James Wong won the men's discus with 59.50 metres, Sawusdee Wunsawang of Thailand threw 50.40 for silver, and Vietnam's Dao Dan Tieng took the bronze with 47.75.

Thailand's Drasaeyan Juthaporn threw 17.85 metres for the gold in the women's shot put, followed by another Thai, Taweedech Kruawan, with 14.18 and Brunei's Ai Seng Tea with 12.25.