Arniel Ferrera LEGENDS OF THE HAMMER
Former National athlete Arniel Ferrera is the newest inductee to the Pinoyathletics Legends of Track and Field. Arniel won 4 SEA Games Gold Medals in the Hammer Throw. He is ranked #11 of SEA Games number of medals. Tied with Isidro Del Prado, Marestella Torres, Eduardo Buenavista, and Erlinda Lavandia.
Arniel Ferrera Origins
Arniel Ferrera was born 22 Mar 1981 hailing from Bacolod, Negros Occidental. The second of seven children. His father was a heavy machine operator and his mother a housewife. His other interests included fishing and carpentry.
Prior to becoming a member of the national team, Arniel was mainly mentored by the late Irish Priest Fr. Colum O’Halpin MSSC who was assigned as Chaplain in BISCOM Champel in Binalbagan. He spent all his life in Negros and died in 2003 and buried in Kabankalan.
He was Arniel’s coach at Binalbagan Catholic College in Bacolod. Gerro Perrater who was a few years older than Arniel and also was at the same College was a huge help and influence to him as well.
The National Team recruited Arniel after the National Open. During his time in the national team, he was coached entirely by Danilo Jarina.
Jarina who was the former record holder before Arniel broke his record also coached Loralie Amahit and Arniel’s rival and Airforce Teammate Jerro Perrater.
Arniel Ferrera National Junior Champion
Arniel first came to prominence winning the National Open in Manila in 1999. The following year he set the Junior Discus and Hammer Records a the 2000 National Open in Manila. At the 2000 National Open, it was a hard road for Arniel.
And a fond memory I recall is our first encounter. When I met him staying with his teammates from Bacolod in the toilets at the Rizal Memorial in the dugout. But this didn’t get them down. They were singing and playing the guitar.
Arniel held the Junior Discus Throw record for 20 years from 2000 to 2019 until it was broken by Joel Delina of the University of the Philippines. And his Junior Hammer Throw record, however, remains untouched
Arniel Ferrera at 20 was the SEA Games bronze medalist in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.
Arneil Ferrera SEA Games Champion
He went onto win titles from 2003 to 2009. Before conceding it to Tantiphong Phatchaiya of Thailand. Arniel was not able to land a medal at a higher level meet.
“Four things make a good throw–speed, power, rhythm, and explosiveness,” says Ferrera in Filipino. “Those were the things I worked on in preparing for the SEA Games.
My experience in the Asian championships in Inchon, Korea. Last September was a big help. Because although I finished only seventh. I competed against quality throwers from all over Asia.” – After winning his first gold in 2003.
In 2007 Arniel broke his own SEA Games record.
Also, Arniel threw his personal best of 61.62m at Vietiane Laos at the SEA Games. It was the 4th and last time he would win gold. In the process setting a SEA Games and SEA Record. The next SEA Games Champion Tantipong Petchaiya of Thailand broke both his records.
Arniel entered the UAAP as a master student at the age of 24, to Ateneo he set a still-standing record in 2005 of 55.67m in the Hammer Throw.
Higher Level Meets
Arniel did not medal at meets higher than the SEA Games. He did, however, place Top 8 at the Continental level.
He finished 7th and 8th at the 2005 and 2007 Asian Championships. And 7th at the 2006 Asian Games. He was not able to throw over 60 meters at this level.
Changing of the Guard
He held the National Record until it was broken in 2015 by Fil-Heritage athlete Caleb Stuart. He still holds the National Junior Record in the Hammer and Discus.
“Of course, aminin na natin sa hindi, nandyan si Caleb. Mas happy ako na makuha ni Caleb (ang gold) kesa sa ibang bansa pa,” said Ferrera, who settled for the silver medal in his pet event during the Myanmar edition of the sportsfest two years ago.
He came out of retirement in 2017 at the Malaysia SEA Games and was able to capture a Bronze at the age of 36. And won the national open again in 2019 after the shock retirement of Caleb Stuart. With a throw of 57.26m. Relegated to 6th place in Hammer at the 2019 SEA Games.
Arneil Ferrera who started coaching in 2012, is yet to produce a SEA Games medalist. Among the throwers, he did work with include SEA Games athletes Rhea Sumalpong, Daniela Daynaata, and most prominently John Albert Mantua. Who all came from other coaches before working with Arneil.
He also did several coaching clinics around the Philippines as a member of Run for Change and Throwers Circle.
Arniel along with Danilo Fresnido attended the Level 2 IAAF CECS Course for throwing events. Arniel is currently a PATAFA and Ateneo Throws coach.
Arneil Ferrera served for a brief time also as President of the national training pool of athletics. And also participated in Masters Athletics.
His primary residence now is in Baguio where he now resides with his wife and two sons