March 5, 2024

Cordillera’s own obstacle course racing (OCR) champion Sandi Menchi Abahan is training with the other members of Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) in preparation for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on May 5 to 17 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Abahan, the 2019 SEA Games gold medalist in the five-kilometer women’s OCR, is set to join 11 other male and female representatives of the country for the OCR.      

CAMBODIA-BOUND — Members of the obstacle course racing national squad to include Cordillera’s own Sandi Menchi Abahan (extreme right) pose for snapshot weeks before they will see action in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. The Philippine OCR squad aims to win at least six gold medals. — Sandi Abahan Facebook photo

The OCR was not included in the 2022 Vietnam SEAG and now that it is back, POSF President Al Agra said the team will aim for six gold medals.  

Agra said Cambodia has only one course, which is a 100-meter course with 12 obstacles. It also has four categories: individual male and female and team relay male and female.

Agra said though the OCR was not included in the Vietnam SEAG, the athletes’ training continues through various competitions they have mounted.

Hindi sila nagpahinga, kasi noong pandemic we had three qualifying events including gym, running and jumping, and obstacle races,” Agra said.

Aside from 2019 SEAG medal winners, the OCR athletes are also Guinness world record title holders including Abahan and Elias Tabac who hold the world titles and Guinness World Record in the 2021 World OCR Championship in Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Other record holders are Mark Julius Rodelas, Kaizen dela Serna, and Precious Cabuya, who will try to break their own Guinness records and World Obstacle records they set in the 100-meter OCR in Arcovia City, Pasig last year.

Rodelas clocked 27.12 seconds while dela Serna checked in at 39.42 besting their European rivals and setting world mark in the OCR 100m, a linear speed course similar to athletics’ 100-meter dash but only with 12 various obstacles.

Last March 2, Rodelas did it again by smashing his own record by registering 26.42 seconds while dela Serna, along with Cabuya, both timed in at 35.42 to likewise set new world marks that same day. – Ofelia C. Empian