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Western Visayas bet shatters 13-year old Palaro mark

President Arroyo waves to the crowd and the competing contingents before the start of the colorful opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa in Tacloban City. Others in photo are Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla and DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapuz, right. Jun Mendoza

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Jesibel Montibon of Western Visayas ruled the girls’ 800-m run, breaking the 13-year old mark in the event even as Rey John Miguel of Soccsksargen claimed two golds in arnis in the rain-hit Day 2 of the Palarong Pambansa at the Leyte Sports Center here yesterday.

Montibon shattered the 13-year-old record of two minutes and 25 seconds set by Jovel Ambagon of Southern Tagalog in the 800m run in 1996 in Koronadal with a new mark of 2:23.9 in one of the heats.

It was the first record set in the meet although a lot more is expected today with action in athletics and medal-rich swimming.

Miguel, 16, dominated the anyo individual double weapon then teamed up with Nomer Buenavente and Jerome Magna in the anyo team double weapon event to become the first double gold medalist of the weeklong multi-sports meet for elementary and high school students.

The Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat native garnered 92 points in besting Joseph Banania of Central Luzon and Duncan Apap-id of Cordillera Administrative Region, who settled for silver and bronze medals with 87.8 and 86.7 points, respectively.

Maika de Oro gave Western Visayas its fourth gold medal by ruling high school discus throw with a heave of 31.43m, overcoming Jemang Matan of Eastern Visayas (31.06m) and April Rose Olarte of Western Visayas (29.31m).

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De Oro, a 14-year-old incoming junior at St. Benilde in Bacolod City, however, failed to surpass her own mark of 32.62m she registered last year in Puerto Princesa.

Long jumper Niño Espinosa and triple jumper Jerry Sucaldito provided Region 6’s first two golden efforts in opening day.

Patrick Unso delivered the first gold for the National Capital Region as he ruled the high jump with a leap of 1.85 meters to open his drive for a four-gold haul in this year’s Palaro.

“I practiced hard for this event,” said Unso, a 16 year-old incoming senior at UST and son of SEA Games hurdles champion Renato Unso and younger brother of 2008 Puerto Princesa Palarong Pambansa triple gold medalist Jose Renato.

Unso, who bested Roderick Delayun of Cagayan Valley and Jay Econia of Northern Mindanao, now sets his sights on the 110m hurdles event and two relay races.

Caraga’s Junilo Gadutdot snared the javelin gold with a heave of 48.95m as he defeated Western Visayas Renzy John Gamolaga and NCR’s Garry Santiago Jr. who had 45.47m and 43.69m efforts, respectively.

Miguel’s team assembled 91.2 points in the team event to capture the gold over Western Visayas’ Warlie Gumban, Michael John Calolot and Ariel Sultan and CAR’s Apap-id, Michael Anayasan and Ryann Macadaeg, who pooled 88.2 and 85.1 points, for silver and bronze medals, respectively.

“I’m glad I did well,” said Miguel, who will be gunning for a third gold in the full contact event tomorrow (today), in Filipino.

A third gold slipped off Miguel’s hands, however, as his anyo single weapon team of Buenavente and Magna could only churn out a 85.1 total, losing the gold to the Western Visayas team of Warlie Gumban, Michael John Calolot and Jelven Fajardo, who had 85.9 points.

Cagayan Valley’s Jonathan Rubino, R-chie Recolizado and Jhan Carlo Viloria of Cagayan Valley took the bronze with 84.9 points in the event held at the Eastern Visayas State U gym.

Central Luzon’s Joseph Banania topped the anyo individual single weapon with 90.1 points over a field that included Soccsksargen’s Magna and Western Visayas Ariel Sultan, who had 88.8 and 87.9 points, respectively.

Soccsksargen notched its third gold through John Albert Mantua, who ruled the high school shot put in 10.99 meters, beating Davao’s Charlon Kim Saraga (10.50m) and Calabarzon’s Oscar Pasia Jr. (10.19m).

Caraga’s Rowella Navarrosa won the secondary girls shot put with 8.95m, edging Western Visayas’ Ma. Flor Lyn Alba (8.92m) while Northern Mindanao’s Joan Encabo took the bronze with 8.42m.

Calabarzon’s Jeffrey Cabeles leaped 11.61 meters to beat Western Visayas’ Ronnie Salvador (11.41 meters) and Davao’s Kierby Capispisan (11.27m) for the elementary triple jump gold.

Over at the RTR Plaza fronting the provincial capitol, five Davao fighters advanced to the second round of the boxing competitions.

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