IBA, Zambales: Mary Flor Diaz wants to follow the footsteps of her cousin—the Olympian Hidliyn Diaz. And she has proven that she’s on the right track after snaring three gold medals in the 48-kilogram class during Day 3 of the 2017 Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Games on Wednesday at the Zambales Sports Complex here.
The 17-year old weightlifter from Mampang, Zamboanga lifted 55kg in snatch and 75kg in clean and jerk to score a total of 130.
Diaz’s teammate Patricia Nina Gregorio bagged the silver after lifting a total of 113kgs followed by Harriett Lestino of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 57kgs.
“I lost almost two kilos just to make the weight category. So, I was reducing before the competition, which affects my performance. But nevertheless, I was able to pull off another victory,” said Diaz.
Last year in Koronadal City, Diaz took home one gold and two silver medals She won three gold medals in the 2015 PRISAA edition.
The first year BS Aircraft Maintenance and Technology student from Zamboanga Institute of Aviation and Technology was elated that she improved a lot this year.
“She (Hidilyn) always told me to train hard, love what we do and especially never lose faith in God,” she said.
Diaz was also a veteran of Batang Pinoy and Philippine National Games. She is also a member of the Philippine national weightlifting team.
Besides Diaz, the other Zamboanga triple-gold medalists were Carlo Soriano (men’s 50kgs), Rowel Garcia (men’s 56kgs), and Lemon Denmark Tarro (boy’s 62kgs).
Zamboanga Peninsula also bagged six silvers and six bronze medals in weightlifting.
Swimmers Kyle Pajarito of Davao Region, Razel Cabajar of Central Visayas, and Juliana Therese Lee of Western Visayas claimed their fourth gold after topping their respective events.
Pajarito dominated the men’s 1,500m freestyle in 19:17.17, Cabajar excelled in women’s 100m butterfly in 1:12.53 while Lee was the fastest in girl’s 100m freestyle in 1:08.15.
Karateka Danica Mirasol of Western Visayas scored a hantei (decision) to claim the gold in women’s -61kg kumite against Rose Mendoza of Ilocos Region.
Central Visayas bagged four gold courtesy of Jesah Mae Ann Bacus (women’s -50kg kumite), Geselle Descartin (women’s -55kg kumite) and Tracy Lynn Basalo (female kata). The female team kata event was ruled by the trio of Ma. Miverva Mercander, Sam de Ariel Zozobrado and Micah Viscayno.
Other karatekas who landed on top podium were Marc Yooriel Gabriel of Soccsksargen (men’s -55kg kumite), as well as Eastern Visayas bets Mark Anthony Bustillo (men’s 60kg kumite), and Anthony Gabriel of (male kata).
Calabarzon’s Raffy Kalaw bagged his third gold in track and field when he finished the 1,500m in 4:06.54. Finishing second and third, respectively, were Ruel Algupera of Western Visayas (4:09.01) and Reymark Quezada of CAR (4:09.38).
Western Visayas tracksters Diane Cabarador (women’s 3,000m walk), Kim Villaruz (girls’ 1,500m), Rhea Mae Borres (girls’ 200m), Niel Knowell De Felipe (boy’s 200m), and Andrea Marie Baylon (girl’s discus throw) also captured the gold in athletics.
In the junior taekwondo competition, Western Visayas jins claimed the overall championship with seven gold, two silver, and four bronze followed by Calabarzon with 5-1-3 and Davao Region with 2-6-3.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID