KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Michael Carlo Del Prado has not only chosen to follow his father Isidro del Prado’s footsteps but is bent on cracking the legendary Filipino runner’s national 400m record.
Michael grew up hearing del Prado’s exploits.
The senior del Prado is even called “Mr 45.57” in reference to his 1984 record which has remained unchallenged for 33 years.
Del Prado was one of two Asian class athletes — the other being sprint queen Lydia de Vega, — produced under “Project Gintong Alay” in the 1980s.
He was a two-time Asian champion (1983 and 1985) in the 400m and won eight gold medals at the SEA Games between 1981 and 1989.
Michael will make his SEA Games debut next month as part of Philippines’ 4x400m relay team.
He will not run in the individual race his father ruled by winning three gold medals in 1981, 1983 and 1989.
However, Michael is biding his time as he is only 22 and wants improve on his personal best of 48.00s, before attacking del Prado’s mark.
“My father wants me to feel what he felt. He used to say ‘when your are still young, do your best’.
“My motivation is his record. I want to beat his record of 45.57s,” said Michael.
Michael is not the first son to fall in love with the 400m race as his elder brother Isidro del Prado Jr, made his father proud by winning a SEA Games gold in the 2013 in the 4x400m relay.
Isidro Jr, 26, however, decided switch to the shorter distances (100m and 200m) but has not been as successful.
He has since taken a short break from international competition and joined the Air Force. He is a coach for their national paralympic squad who will compete in the Asean Para Games in September.
“In time to come, my target is to hit 45s,” said Michael, a sports management student at De La Salle University in Manila.
“However, I will have my brother to challenge me as he is planning to make a comeback in the 400m next year. That is going to help my progress.”
Isidro Jr has stated Michael is more talented and the latter looks poised ensure the 400m record remains within the family.