CAPAS, Tarlac -- Three record-setting performances proved to be the cherry on top for an inspired Philippine contingent, which captured four golds and two silvers in day 3 of the athletics events Sunday in New Clark City here.
Natalie Uy delivered a gold medal for the Filipinos in the women's pole vault category, where she smashed a six-year-old Games record with a 4.25m jump to top two vaulters from Thailand.
Uy became the second Filipino to set a new vault record after EJ Obiena reset the men's standard on Saturday, though she revealed that she had higher aspirations by trying to clear the 4.35 bar in the event.
"I tried to attack it and I got a little bit excited with the crowd and tried to calm it down. It just didn't come today," she said. "I know I can do it. Just do what I do in practice and have fun."
In the 4x100m mixed relay, Eric Cray found redemption from a disqualification in the 100m dash by closing a late gap for a Philippine team that also bannered Kristina Knott, Anfernee Lopera and Eloisa Luzon for gold.
Cray's comeback fueled a 41.60-second finish by the Filipinos who raced past Thailand (41.99) and Malaysia (42.20) to set a record in the event's inaugural staging.
First-time SEAG performer William Morrison III also set a new standard in shot put with an 18.38m throw, breaking an eight-year record held by Thailand's Polyiam Chatchawal (17.74).
Morrison said he could have launched it farther if he hadn't dealt with exhaustion from the weather.
"I never really expected to win, but I wish I would've thrown farther. Today I threw 18m, and I was expecting to do 20," he bared. "It's my first time in the SEA Games. It was fun. I'm glad it was here in the Philippines. It's awesome. I'm happy. My whole family was here."
Meanwhile in heptathlon, Sarah Dequinan became the first Filipina since Elma Muros in 2001 to rule the event after amassing 5101 points in a grueling two-day performance, edging Malaysia and Thailand for first-place honors.
"I have nothing to say. This is all super amazing for me. It feels like a dream," she gushed.
The Philippines also landed silvers courtesy of Knott, who lost to Vietnam's Le Tu Chinh by 0.1 seconds in the 100m dash after clocking at 11.55 seconds, and of Mariano Masano, who placed second in the 1500m run after finishing at 4:08:27.