CAPAS CITY — Willie Morrison did not get the distance he wanted in his first time representing the country in an international competition.
But the Filipino -American thrower still got the gold medal in the men’s shot put event of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in record fashion Sunday night at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium here.
The 23-year old Morrison admitted he got tired during the competition where he threw “just” 18.38 meters, enough to shatter the old mark of 17.74 meters established by Thailand’s Chatchawal Polyiam in 2011 Games in Indonesia.
“I live in the other side of the world,” said Morrison, who spent most of his time in Indiana, where snow on the ground is a normal occurrence.
“But it was good though it wasn’t the one that I wanted to throw today. I definitely expected to win, but I wish I would have throw farther,” the Indiana University (IU) standout added.
Morrison’s personal best is 20.40 meters, a shade under the Olympic qualifying distance of 21.10 meters.
He threw 19.64 meter in the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association relay last July to qualify here in the biennial meet.
Morrison said the SEA Games is giving him a lot of firsts but he’s enjoying as this is his first time competing for his country in the international stage.
“It’s my first time doing anything like this, living in the village for a week now and it has been fun,” Morrison said.
“And (the experience) is awesome. My whole family was here, my mom, my titas. I love the energy, the love. It was a great time to get the win here,” he added.
Morrison will now go back to the United States and prepare for a new season of US National Collegiate Athletic Association, where he will suit up for IU.
But the wonderful memories of his first SEA Games participation will forever be etched on his heart.