High jumper Grospe sets new national mark

High jumper Grospe sets new national mark

APART from producing future champions, one of the main goals of the Philippine National Games is to break national records.

Mission accomplished.

And it was delivered by the fast-rising Leonard Grospe, who shattered the 17-year-old Philippine high jump record by his coach Sean Guevarra before dusk fell Wednesday at the PhilSports track oval in Pasig City.

The tall and scrawny 22-year-old Mr. Grospe leapt to 2.20 meters and eclipsed the 2.14m set by the one person instrumental to his meteoric emergence — Mr. Guevarra — in an effort considered the worthiest effort yet in this six-day meet organized and funded by the Philippine Sports Commission.

It was one of the many marks he set this year including rearranging the national indoor records twice with a 2.14m and 2.15m in the Asian Indoor Championships in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan last February.

Mr. Grospe had 2.18m in the Pinoy Athletics Summer Series meet in Lingayen, Pangasinan last June but it wasn’t recognized by World Athletics and didn’t count.

It made up for his frustrations in last May’s Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games where he missed out on a medal after managing just a fifth-place finish with a 2.13m finish.

But he went from zero to hero in just a span of six months with his recent feat.

At the nearby pool yesterday, Puerto Princesa’s Quendy Fernandez claimed her sixth gold medal by towing her team of Maglia Jaye Dignadice, Pearl June Daganio and Cindy Fernandez to the 200m freestyle relay victory in a minute and 54.43 seconds. — Joey Villar