Pablo Somblingo dominates 1950s 400m

Pablo Somblingo

Born 1932 At the age of 21, Pablo Somblingo took the National 400m title. In a time of 49.9 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

Defeating and succeeding Cipriano Nuera as the countries fastest quarter-miler. 

Nuera had won the 200m title in 23.3 at the National Championships. It had the best time in 1953 of 49.5. The National Record of J. Ravello of 49.3 had stood since 1940.

At the National Championships in 1954, Somblingo defended his title in 49.7 against Nuera 50.3.

Somblingo made the 4x400m at the 1954 Asian Games in Manila with Cipriano Nuera, Mauricio Paubaya, and Ernesto Rodriguez. Somblingo was the first runner, and the team took bronze in 3:21.6. He clocked 49.6 in the 400m.

Also, Somblingo clocked 48.6 at the National Championships in 1955, winning his third straight national title over 400m and erasing the national record of J. Ravello set in 1940.  

In contrast, In 1956, a Filipino American named Carlos Kevin Tan was accredited with a 47.8 converted 440-yard run. And must note that Tan never ran for the Philippines. And the Philippines Athletics Association never recognized this performance.

 

Philippine Record

Although several leading statisticians acknowledged it as a Philippine Record, we need to consider running on a dirt oval 440 yards, which and did not run entirely in lanes.

Regardless Somblingo surpassed his own mark of 48.6 with a 48.5 win at the Intercollegiate Games, beating David Nepmuceno Jr. (49.9) and Pedro Subido (51.2). Pablo competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He competed in the 400m and 400 Hurdles, timing 49.4 and 54.5 but failing to advance to the next round.

Somblingo took his 5th national title in 48.7 in 1957 in 400m; he also clocked 53.2 in the 400 Hurdles.

In conclusion, the highlight of his career was a Silver Medal in 400m in the 1958 Asian Games. He also joined Erasma Arellano, Aparicio Mequi, and Antonio Suplido as the last runner of the 4×400 that took the bronze in 3.18.2.

However, Somblingo took his seventh and last national title in the 400m in 1959 with 48.7 and was succeeded by Arsenio Jazmin as the countries premier quarter-miler.

 

Sources:

  • https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/so/pablo-somblingo-1.html
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