• Negros Island lass cops first archery gold in Palaro

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    Ma.Ferimi Gleam Bajado of Negros Island Region aims for the bull’s eye during the girls’ secondary archery 30m competition of the 60th Palarong Pambansa at Pis-anan national high school in Antique. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

    SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, ANTIQUE: Maria Ferimi Gleam Bajado wants to be an Olympian someday. And she took a baby step toward that dream after her gold-medal performance in the 30-meter distance at the start of the archery competition on Tuesday at the Pis-anan National High School in Sibalom here.

    The 15-year old Bajado garnered 334 points to edge out her veteran opponents to give Negros Islands its first gold in archery.

    “I’m blessed. I’m surprised to win because there are veteran competitors here. I just focused on my own,” said Bajado, an incoming Grade 10 student at Siliman University in Dumaguete City.

    Ilocos Region’s Maria Alexea Apigo and Leanne Lagrimas of Eastern Visayas both finished with 328 points but the former took the silver via one-shot shootoff.

    Last year in Legazpi City, Bajado won one gold in the 40-m, silver in the team event and bronze in the Olympic round. She aims to surpass her performance last year. Bajado, who idolizes Brazilian archer and three-time South American Games champion Marcus D’Ameida, has seven more events to conquer.

    At the Binirayan Sports Complex, another javelin throw record fell as 16-year old Sylvian Faith Abunda of Northern Mindanao erased the previous mark with a distance of 42.85 meters to take the gold in the secondary girls dethroning back-to-back champion Efelyn Democer, who settled for bronze.

    Abunda, an incoming Grade 11 student in Lantapan National High School in Bukidnon, erased the old mark of 42.34 meters set by Democer in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa in Tagum City, Davao. Negros Island’s Ann Katherine Sitoy took the silver with 40.64 meters.

    “I did not expect to win,” said Abunda. “I really had a hard time because of the hot weather. I had a headache.”

    It was a stunning feat for Abunda, who just started training for the javelin throw event last March as Democer was groomed to take a grand slam in the event. She ended triumphant while left Democer in tears.

    “I don’t train regularly in javelin throw because I attend to our small sari-sari store. If my coaches tell me to train, I’ll train,” said Abunda, who sealed the record on her fourth attempt.

    “It’s my last Palaro the reason why I wanted to win it again. But it’s okay. My teammate won it so I’m also happy,” the dethroned javelin throw champion said.

    Adrian Canaya and Elvy Villaginiza added two more in the gold medal haul of host region Western Visayas after ruling the elementary boys shot put and secondary girls long jump, respectively.

    Canaya threw 10.67 meters to beat Chinno Balmores of NCR (10.34) and King John Zeus Alabastro of Calabarzon (10.31). The 18-year old Villaginiza, a native of Iloilo City, recorded 5.63 meters to beat NCR’s Giandi Gatinga (5.48) and Trexie dela Torre (5.36) of Negros Island, who settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

    Marvin Ramos gave Central Luzon its second gold in athletics after topping the elementary boys long jump event. The Mexico, Pampanga native leapt 5.53 meters to take the gold, beating Patunot Magulayan (5.51) of Central Visayas and Bicol’s John Elmer Alajan (5.39). Davao’s Jeremie Tamies holds the record in the event with 6.04 meters that he established in the 2002 Palaro.

    NCR also took a gold courtesy of Kassandra Alcantara, who threw 11.16 meters in secondary girls shot put. Calabarzon’s Jane Marie Cambonga settled for bronze with 10.89 meters distance while NCR’s Daniela Daynata bagged the bronze with 10.83 meters.

    Over at the Patnongon Municipal Covered Court in Poblacion, Bicol’s Janella Dihnezze Rendon captured two gold medals in arnis after ruling the elementary girls anyo individual single and double weapon events.

    Soccsksargen’s Jeko Heyres won the gold in the elementary boys anyo single weapon while Western Visayas’ John Clark Segutier and Cordillera Administrative Region’s Eza Rai Yalong topped the secondary boys and girls anyo single weapon events, respectively.

    In the demo event 2,000-meter walk secondary boys, the podium finishers all broke the previous mark with NCR’s Bryan Oxales winning the gold with the time of 10 minutes and 11.31 followed by Soccsksargen’s Frances Velasquez (10:18.53) and Davao’s Christian Mondejar (10:19.24), who settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

    The old mark was 11:17.01 set by Davao’s Jomar Angga last year in Legazpi City. The medals in the demo sports/event won’t reflect in the medal tally. Next year, the 2,000-m run will be included as a regular event.

    NCR, composed of Jannah Romero, Sherlyn Love Gabisay, Ciara Derecho and Jamielyn Villalon, won the gold in the team event of secondary girls. Negros Island took the silver while Soccsksargen settled for bronze.

    The Big City also won the gold in the team event of elementary boys while Calabarzon edged out NCR for the gold in the elementary girls category of table tennis.

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