SANTA CRUZ, Laguna – Jomar Udtohan of San Sebastian College-Manila
clinched his second record-breaking win in athletics on Thursday in the
57th Palarong Pambansa at the Laguna Sports Complex here.
The 17-year-old Bulacan-born Udtohan, who is representing the National
Capital Region, ran the secondary 400-m dash in 48.7 seconds to shatter the 17-year mark of 49.4 seconds set by Rene Boy Tanuan of Southern Tagalog in 1997.
His first record-breaking performance was in the 100-m dash with 10.8 seconds last Wednesday that bettered the 10.9 seconds of Cagayan Valley’s Ronald Caluanan in 1998.
“I’m thankful for the support of our school. I really practiced hard for this event,” said Udtohan, who will be aiming for a rare third gold today in the finals of the 200-m dash, which he hopes would be his third new records in the week-long competition.
Thus, Udtohan, who graduated high school at the San Sebastian College in Manila last month, joined Central Luzon’s Bryan Jay Pacheco as athletics’ double gold medalists.
The 17-year-old Pacheco, who graduated from Baler National High School last March, broke the records in the secondary boys javelin with 62.47 meters and the secondary shot put with 15.32 meters.
After more than a decade, Leyte province won a gold courtesy of Typhoon Yolanda
victims Melissa Escoton in the girls secondary 100-m hurdles, and Leah
Joan Creer in the girls secondary 400-m dash.
The 16-year-old Escoton reigned in the 100-m hurdles with a time of
15:5.43 seconds. Judy Ann Rendora of Calabarzon came in second with 15:5.45 and Karen Janario was third in 15:8.74.
Not to be outdone, the 17-year-old Creer of Palo, Leyte won the girls secondary 400-m dash with a time of 59.3 seconds. Her victory came after finishing only second behind Mary Anthony Diesto of Western Visayas in the 100-m dash on Wednesday.
Escoton and Creer were among the 30 athletes who were adopted by the Philippine Sports Commission and were trained at the Rizal Memorial Sports Center in Manila for at least two months after the Leyte Sports Complex was destroyed by Yolanda
“We have not won a gold for over 15 years. These are our first gold medals after a long while. I’m very glad Melissa (Escoton) and Leah (Creer) did it for us. They are both very inspired to prove themselves after the sad fate caused by Typhoon Yolanda,” said Leyte Sports Development officer Dr. Lucrecio Calo.
In arnis at the Laguna State University Activity Center, the Cordillera Region (CAR) dominated the secondary competition with eight golds, five silvers and three bronzes. Western Visayas was second with five golds, four silvers and two bronzes.
The powerhouse National Capital Region seemed headed to secure its 13th straight overall title with 39 golds, 24 silvers and 29 bronzes at presstime.
The Big Capital athletes currently leds the secondary competition with 23-14-15 tally and 16-10-14 in the elementary level. A far second is host Calabarzon with
16-20-23 followed by Western Visayas with 15-11-19 and surprisingly Cordillera Region with 15-9-9. Soccsargen is at the fourth spot with 10-10-11 haul and Northern Mindanao with 8-12-10.