• ‘Natural sprinter’ bags century dash gold

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    Bianca Jane Combate of Region 8 Eastern runs toward the finish line of the girls’ secondary 100m-dash competition of the 60th Palarong Pambansa at the Biniriyan Sports Complex in San Jose De Buenavista, Antique on Wednesday.
    Photo by Russell Palma

    SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, ANTIQUE: Bianca Jane Combate was the smallest in their field but emerged the fastest, to be hailed as the sprint queen as two more athletics record fell in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa.

    The four-foot-11 lass from Bato, Leyte topped the century dash event of the secondary girls on Wednesday at the Binirayan Sports Complex here, crossing the finish line first with a time record of 12.38 seconds, beating former teammate Eliza Cuyom (12.50) and defending champion Samantha Limos (12.66), who settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

    “I trained hard that’s why I expected to win,” said Combate, a scholar at the Leyte Sports Academy and used to represent Calabarzon in the elementary division.

    Her coaches described her with “natural sprint” which was evident in her first try in the 100-m dash, taking the lead in the first few meters en route to a gold medal finish.

    “She’s a natural sprinter and she enjoys the training. That’s why we adopted her after she was released by Calabarzon,” said coach Damaso Oridan.

    In the secondary boys, Calabarzon’s Veruel Verdadero also won his first gold in Palaro after clocking 10.96 seconds, beating Cagayan Valley’s John Carlo Yuson (11.14) and Soccsksargen’s Jovanie Kasi (11.24).

    “I just needed a fast start (to win it),” said the 15-year old Verdadero, who like Combate, previously suited up for Soccsksargen in elementary before transferring to Calabarzon as he’s now an incoming Grade 9 at the Emilio Aguinaldo College-Immaculate Concepcion Academy in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

    In the elementary division, Cagayan Valley’s Rhen Bacani and Soccsksargen’s Datunot Magaluyon won the girls and boys 100-m dash, respectively. Bacani copped the gold with the time record of 13.22 seconds while Magaluyon registered 11.89 to take the gold.

    Meanwhile, two more records fell in athletics on Wednesday courtesy of Negros Island’s Kate Julliene Martinez in the elementary girls discus throw and Ana Marie Eugenio in the elementary girls 400-m hurdles.

    Martinez shattered a 10-year Palarong Pambansa mark with a distance of 36.56 meters, surpassing the 33.07 meters old mark of Maika de Oro of Western Visayas established in the 2007 Palarong Pambansa in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

    Cagayan Valley’s Irish de Guzman took the silver with 30.22 meters while Northern Mindanao’s Jeweliza Sarabosing settled for bronze with 29.65 meters.

    Eugenio also set a new mark in 400-m hurdles with the time of 1:08.03, erasing the 1:08.6 mark of Junelou Cabal of Northern Mindanao set in the 1998 edition of Palaro in Bacolod City. Davao’s Merry Joy Tero (1:08.75) and Western Visayas’ Rezen Albano (1:10.91) took the silver and bronze, respectively.

    Bicol’s John Marlon Luna ruled the elementary boys 400-m hurdles with the time of 1:03.38 while Central Visayas’ Riza Jane Vallente and Soccsksargen’s Marjun Sollero bagged the gold medal in the secondary girls and boys 400-m hurdles.

    Vallente posted a time record of 1:03.10 while Sullera notched 54.16 seconds to take the gold.

    Cagayan Valley also had a gold in Day 3 of athletics competition courtesy of Algin Gomez in secondary boys triple jump. Central Luzon’s Ed de Lina ruled the secondary boys discus throw while NCR’s Jaymark Gascon was the king of long jump in secondary boys. Tyrone Flores of Calabarzon also snatched the gold in the secondary boys shot put while Davao Region’s Germar Marcelo was the king of the 5,000-m run in secondary boys.

    In Day 1 of the swimming competition at the Emilio B. Javier Pool, National Capital Region (NCR) scooped seven gold medals; four in record fashions while Davao and Western Visayas each had three.

    Big City tankers Jerald Jacinto and Sacho Ilustre broke their respective Palarong Pambansa records that they established last year in Legazpi in secondary boys en route to NCR’s seven-gold haul in the first day of the swimming competition.

    Jacinto set a new mark in the 100-m backstroke (59.64 seconds), erasing his old mark of 1:00.18. Ilustre also rewrote his record in the 200-m backstroke with 2:04.88, beating his previous mark of 2:07.88.

    NCR’s secondary girls and boys 200-medley relay teams also set a new record. The secondary girls team, bannered by Nicole Pamintuan, registered 2:07.13 to erase the old mark of 2:08.41 of Calabarzon last year. Pamintuan was a member of the Calabarzon squad.

    The secondary boys clocked in 1:52.65 to erase the previous record of 1:54.08 they also set last year.

    Mathieu Adrien Tao led Davao’s three-gold medal haul after topping the elementary boys 200-m free style and 100-m backstroke. Unlike most of the swimmers here, the 12-year old Tao has no interest to become a member of the national team in the future.

    “I’m doing it for my health. I want to stay fit,” said Tao, who admitted he was overweight the reason why he went into swimming. Tao had five more events here and aims to win them all.

    Kyla Soguilon contributed two of Western Visayas’ three gold medals. Soguilon won the elementary girls 100-m backstroke and the 50-m butterfly.

    As expected, NCR dominated the gymnastics competition with 29 gold medals led by Lucia Gabriel Gutierrez (six) in elementary girls artistic gymnastics Cluster 1, Hannah Lalaine Perez (five) in secondary girls artistic gymnastics, and Karl Jahrel Eldrew Yulo (five) in the elementary boys artistic gymnastics Cluster 1.

    Over at Saint Anthony College, Central Visayas (secondary boys), Calabarzon (secondary girls), Negros Island (elementary boys) and Soccsksargen (elementary boys) took the gold medal in the team tie event of the badminton competition.

    In billiards, Carmille Buhat of Negros Island and Zamboanga Peninsula won the eight-ball billiards competition.

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