June 6, 2023

Former Southeast Asian Games marathoner Christabel Martes is now a certified world athletics coach after going through a 14-day intensive coaching training online.

The 41-year-old Martes was part of the 23 new world athletics level 1-accredited coaches who completed the Coaches Education Learning System (CELS) Philippine edition that was concluded on Dec. 15. 

The Philippine Athletics Track and Fields Association (Patafa) said the participants had a 96 percent passing rate and will help the federation in further developing athletics in the country.

Martes was also one of the 12 individuals who qualified for level-2 training of the online coaching training, which was held for the second time worldwide and the first in the Area Development Center in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The online training lecturers were Anbarasu Subramaniam of the Sabaj Athletics Association, Maria Jeanette Obiena of the Patafa and former national coach Joseph Sy with international trainer Tyne Artiaga Pantangco and the Patafa as assistants.

The Patafa said it would resume its athletics development programs in February 2021.

In her Facebook post, Martes said she came from a wildcard to level 2 and thanked the Patafa for including her in the training.

A two-time Southeast Asian Games marathon champion and five-time Milo Olympics marathon queen, Martes holds the record in the 10,000-meter run of 34:40.3 which she set in the 2001 National Open.

She is part of the legendary training stable of coach Mario Castro who had 13 direct and four indirect gold medals totaling to 17 gold medals as a coach in over nine SEA Games, of which Martes contributed two gold medals.

She was born and raised in La Trinidad, Benguet but currently resides in Baguio where she does coaching for elementary pupils and high school students. – Ofelia C. Empian