April 15, 2024

Anytime soon, Baguio City will have a future Olympian who is currently following the footsteps of his father, who also happens to be a two-time Olympian himself.

The University of the Philippines Track and Field Team announced last week that Eduard Josh Buenavista is one of the athletes from UP that will see action in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games set next month in Cambodia.

SEAG-BOUND — Eduard Josh Buenavista of Baguio will compete in the 5,000 meters long distance run and 3,000 meters steeple chase in the 32nd edition of the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next month. He is the son of two-time Olympian Eduard Buenavista. — UP Track and Field Team graphic

The 22-year-old Buenavista will compete in the 5,000-meter long distance run and 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The UP team also announced that Buenavista will be joined by Edwin Giron who will compete in the 800-m. and 1,500-m. while Alhryan Labita will compete in the 400-m. hurdles.

The fourth UP athlete to see action in the 5,000-m. and 3,000-m. steeplechase is Abegail Manzano.

This will be the first time that Buenavista will compete in the SEA Games as a senior level athlete. He once represented the Philippines as a youth/junior level competitor.

This early, his fellow athletes are confident that Buenavista will be a podium finisher.

In December last year, Buenavista broke two long-standing records in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 Collegiate Athletics Championship.

He first broke the 10,000-m. run in 32:08.30 minutes, smashing the 32:38.88 minutes set by Nelbert Ducusin of Far Eastern University in UAAP Season 68.

Reports said the 10,000-m. is not the territory of Buenavista, but UP Coach Rio dela Cruz entered the former in the event hoping he could contribute points for the Maroon squad. 

Buenavista also broke the 5,000-m. UAAP record when he clocked 15:16.37 for his second gold.

Buenavista, who is taking up Bachelor of Sports Science at UP Diliman, is the son of two-time Olympian and holder of the Philippine record for multiple long-distance events Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista, who hails from South Cotabato but moved his family to Baguio City. – Harley F. Palangchao