Rene Herrera has no quit in him.
Which is just about the only good thing one can say about the country’s (the Philippines) lone runner in the London Olympic Games who finished dead last among 21 runners in his 5,000m heat Wednesday morning.
There were no tears from Herrera. He had come in as token reps for countries with no legitimate Olympic qualifiers in athletics. But he had no illusion of running off with a medal. He declared before the race that he just wanted to improve his personal best.
In this regard, he met his target. His clocking of 14:44:11 seconds easily eclipsed the 14:51:00 he did in a victorious run in the 2011 Philippine National Games, thus improving on his national record.
His effort did not go unnoticed.
The 33-year-old Herrera was gasping for air, face down on the track when he felt a pat on his back. His face lit up when he saw it was Mohammed Farah of Great Britain, the 10,000-m champion, Rene’s idol in long distance running.
—Manila Bulletin (August 10, 2012)