Habal-habal driver’s son bucks odds to rule 100-m dash

LEGAZPI CITY — SOCCSKSARGEN runner Feberoy Kasi had all the reasons to take a much-needed rest than compete in the secondary boys’ century dash on Wednesday afternoon.

Already suffering from a boil on his right knee and blisters on his right foot, Kasi, 18, vomited thrice before the much-awaited race—the shortest common outdoor running distance but is also considered as the most prestigious event in centerpiece athletics.

But the son of a habal-habal driver from Tiboli, South Cotabato overcame those odds coupled with a tough resistance from his rivals to rule the 100m race in record-tying fashion in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex here.

Kasi submitted a time of 10.8 seconds, equaling the best-standing mark set by National Capital Region’s Jomar Udtohan back in the 2014 Palaro edition in Sta. Cruz, Laguna while besting the likes of Davao Region’s Jeremiah Cortez and CALABARZON’ Jovianne Calixto, who both check in five-tenths of a second slower.

It was a perfect swan song for Kasi, who finally achieved the elusive individual gold on his third Palaro stint.

“Gusto ko talaga makuha ito kasi last year ko na ito. Hindi na ako makakalaro next year,” said the graduating Tiboli National High School standout, who took home a gold medal last year in Tagum City, Davao del Norte courtesy of their 4×400 relay team.

What made Kasi’s achievement more memorable was the fact that he almost quit before the competition started. “Hindi ako kondisyon kasi tatlong beses akong sumuka. Masama po talaga ang pakiramdam ko, Tapos mayroon po akong pigsa. Tapos sa ilalim ng paa ko parang may injury ako,” he said.

Kasi will try to sustain his winning form in the 200m dash and help defend the region’s 4x400m relay both scheduled on Friday.
In the distaff side, Central Visayas’ Samantha Gem Limos overcame her two closest rivals from Western Visayas to seize the gold medal in 12.1 seconds.

Lejany Salafraña (12.4 seconds) and Berna Luz Talaron (12.5) claimed the silver and bronze medals respectively. – By Jerome Lagunzad

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports