• Ilocandia archer shines in Palaro

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    STA. Cruz, Laguna: Mary Queen Ybañez of La Union grabbed three more gold medals in archery on Wednesday to move closer to her target of bagging eight golds in the 57th Palarong Pambansa at the sprawling Laguna Sports Complex in Barangay Bubukal here.

    The 16-year-old Ybañez, who graduated in March at the Lorma College Special Science High School in San Juan, La Union, ruled the secondary girls’ 50 meters event with 325 points, the 60 meters event with 313 points and the single round Fita. The Ilocana archer has so far five gold medals to her name.

    She hopes to become the most bemedalled athlete in the 2014 edition of Palaro when she competes in the individual Olympic round, Olympic team event and mixed boys and girls events in the last day of the meet.

    “I have less stress now. So I am more focused. That’s why not even the exhausting heat and windy condition could distract me,” said Ybañez, who won three golds, one silver and one bronze last year in Dumaguete City.

    The incoming college freshman at the St. Louis University in Baguio City, also won the 30 meters and 40 meters events target using a pricey P100,000 recurve bow on Tuesday.

    “She has a very strong confidence. And she practiced hard, that’s why she is the archer with the most potential that we have right now in our country,” said 14-year national coach Henry Manalang, that was also the former coach of Sydney Olympian Jasmine Figueroa and Athens Olympian Jennifer Chan.

    In the arnis competition at the Laguna State University activity center, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) dominated the third day by winning six gold medals courtesy of Joemarson Rey Abodadi in the boys’ secondary level anyo [forms]individual single weapon and anyo individual double weapon.

    CAR’s Josh Monroc Yalong, Sheen Michael Pakilon and Eric Gagawa likewise won the gold in the secondary boys’ team synchronized double weapon event. Their teammates Shaina Jane Salingbay, Eza Rai Yalong and Cristel Baltazar also won the girls’ team synchronized single weapon event. Also from CAR, Felvy Ah-Ul, Eza Rai Yalong and Cristel Baltazar ruled the girls’ synchronized double weapon contest. The CAR contingent bagged its six gold medal after Ravena Murillo won the elementary level individual anyo solo baston event with a total score of 67.0 points.

    Bicol Region also won three golds in arnis courtesy of Jasper Esquilon and Gabrial Armenta in the anyo mixed double identical weapon. Esquilon and Armenta teamed-up with Kemberly Madrona to win the gold in the team synchronized mixed anyo event and team synchronized mixed anyo doubles.

    In the swimming competition at the LSC Aquatic Center, Imee Joyce Saavedra of National Capital Region (NCR), posted 2:16.72 in the girls’12-year and under 200-m freestyle event to surpass the 2:18.86 record established by Catherine Bondad of Calabarzon in 2010. Another NCR tanker Seth Isaac Martin, also established a new record of 1:07.21 in the boys’ 12-year and under 100-breastroke event, shattering the old mark of 1:07.56 by Evan Gravadorin 1998.

    The NCR relay team of Andrew Gibson, Aryan Anas–tacio, Orlando Reyes and Michael Pinpin also set a new record in the 12-year and under 200 meters medley relay with a time of 2:06.02 that surpassed the old mark of 2:07.33 also by NCR swimmers in 2011.

    In athletics, Kenneth Paul Rafanan of Calabarzon notched 40.60-meters to rule the secondary boys’ discuss throw. Bryan Pacheco of Central Luzon finished second with 36.94 meters. Jaime Immanuel Mejia of NCR won the boys’ secondary 400 meters hurdles with a time of 54.70 seconds while Josefina Yjay Baloloy of Calabarzon topped the girls’ secondary 400 meters hurdles with a time of 1:04.1.

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