SEA Games debutante Hermie Macaranas is off to a great start in his first SEA Games plunge after winning the bronze medal in the men’s C1 1000m canoeing competition yesterday at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Ngalike Dam, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The Filipino teen who is only eighteen years old started off really strong, forming a three-man lead pack with Myanmar’s Win Htike and Thailand’s Thammarat Phaophandee in the 800m stretch.
The pressure and his inexperienced played a great factor in the final stretch of the 1000m competition. Macaranas got outbalanced in the last 200 meters, allowing the Burmese and Thai rowers to breakaway and finish ahead of him.
Macaranas clocked in at four minutes and 30.78 seconds behind gold medalist Win Htike of Myanmar, with 4:15.95 and Indonesia’s Spens Stuber Mehue who took the silver with 4:21.43.
Maca“Na-outbalance sya sa final 200m,” said Macaranas’ coach, Christian Abejar. “Doon sya naiwan ng Myanmar at Indonesia. Mabuti na lang at naiwan din ang Thailand kaya nasingitan natin sa medalya.”
Macaranas admitted that apart from the pressure, he also got nervous in his first major international competition.
“Kinakabahan po ako pero pinilit ko pa din lumaban. Hindi ako nagpasindak,” Macaranas said. “Pero satisfied po ako sa aking performance ngayong araw nato dahil binigay ko lahat ng makaya ko sa larong ito,” he added.
Despite the setback, Macaranas was satisfied with his performance in his first major international competition.
He is still set to see action in the men’s C1 200m and 500m on Thursday; while Alex Generalo takes the plunge in men’s K1 200m on Friday.
Macaranas and Generalo are the only canoe-kayak athletes seeing action in Myanmar SEA Games.
Both athletes are even considered token delegates in this competition where the only criterion of including them in the SEA Games roster was their stunning performance in the Philippine National Games earlier this year.