ATHLETICS chief Philip Ella Juco is eyeing two Fil-Am siblings, both promising middle-distance runners, to beef up the national team for future international competitions.
Juico said that since 2016 he has been talking with Adam Guermali, the father of Said, 23, and Yacine, 21, for his sons to compete in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games but were unable to because of injuries just before the games.
Juico said that Adam is a former middle distance and long-distance athlete from Morocco while the accomplished two siblings were standouts at Gonzaga University, a Jesuit institution in Spokane, Washington.
He said the Guermali brothers were varsity mainstays in the 1,500, 5,000 and cross-country events at Gonzaga, with Said currently taking up his Masters degree in Business Administration at the school while the younger brother intends to take up his Masters in Finance once he graduates in 2022.
Said came to the Philippines and topped the men’s 800-meter PATAFA time trials at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac last October 2019, just 16 hours after a marathon 23-hour flight from Washington, according to Juico.
Yacine was unable to come to Manila then due to a leg injury, he added.
Juico pointed out the brothers would have finished 1-2 in the men’s 1,500-meter run had they been able to compete in the last SEA Games, won by Vietnam’s Durong Van Thai in four minutes and 6.63 seconds while Pinoy bet Mariano Masano (4:08.27) was second.
Yacine’s personal best set on May 11, 2019 is 3:48.91 while elder brother Said’s best clocking is 3:54.56.