Yacine Guermali, a half-Filipino half-Morrocan runner, broke the 19-year-old record of Eduardo Buenavista in the 5,000 meters of the Oregon Relays last April 23.
Guermali, 21 years old, clocked 13 minutes 35.36 seconds to break the old mark of 13:58.43 set by Buenavista at the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
Guermali will be representing the Philippines together with his 23-year-old brother Said in the 2021 Hanoi Southeast Asian Games. Their mother hails from the Philippines.
The younger Guermali’s time however was only good for 15th place in the race topped by Cole Hocker in 13:19.98.
The Guermalis intended to run in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m races during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but had to pull out due to injuries.
They told Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) president Philip Ella Juico they still want to represent the Philippines in future international races. Juico had predicted the Guermalis will break national and SEA Games records.
Said’s 1500m personal best of 3:54.26 and Yacine’s recent time in the 5,000m are faster than the current SEA Games time of 4:06.53 and 14:31.15, respectively.
Apart from representing the country in the 31st Hanoi SEA Games in November, the Guermalis also want to go to the 2023 Phnom Penh SEA Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics.