SOUTHEAST Asian Games (SEAG) gold medalists, headed by marathon queen Christine Hallasgo, will spearhead the cast in the Ayala National Athletics Championships set Dec. 16 and 17 at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) President Philip Ella Juico said the two-day meet would serve as a performance competition for Ms. Hallasgo and the other national team mainstays who are seeing action in next year’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games and Hangzhou Asian Games.

“This is an attempt to go back to the normal with all the precautions, of course, and our athletes need to remove all the rust also,” said Mr. Juico during yesterday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

Mr. Juico said they did not require their athletes training abroad to join due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions and risks.

But there will be no shortage of talents in the race as Ms. Hallasgo and fellow gold winners Aries Toledo (decathlon), Melvin Calano (javelin) and Clinton Bautista (110-meter hurdles) are also provide the excitement.

Other SEA Games medalists who have confirmed attendance were decathlon Janry Ubas, triple jumper Mark Harry Diones and relay runners Eloisa Luzon, Jessel Lumapas and Maureen Schrijvers.

From Baguio, the Nationals would travel down to the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City to join the rest in the resumption of training of all Philippine pool members set Jan. 10 next year. — Joey Villar