Olympian’s cousin breaks lift record
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 2, 2014 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Zamboanga’s Mary Flor Diaz, first cousin of Olympian weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, lived up her pedigree and lifted her way to a record-shattering triumph in the Batang Pinoy National Finals at SM Transport Hub.

Following in the footsteps of Hidilyn, Mary Flor easily conquered the girls’ 44-kg division with lifts of 54 kgs in snatch and 62 kgs in clean and jerk for a winning total of 149 kgs. Her three lifts shattered the Batang Pinoy’s old marks of 50-61-111 set by Tagbilaran’s Elien Rose Perez in 2012 in Tacloban.

“Maganda yung performance ko sa training kaya expected ko na rin mag-break ng record (I was doing well in training so I actually expected to break records),” said the high school junior from Universidad de Zamboanga.

The youngest of four siblings, Mary Flor grew up with a barbell at their home in Mampang, Zamboanga and has taken a liking to lifting, just like her kuyas. There’s also the influence from Hidilyn, currently the country’s top female lifter.

Boholano Perez, a national junior mainstay and veteran of the Asian Youth Games, and Cebuano brothers Evangelito Dale and Jhon Febuar Ceniza grabbed a share of the spotlight with record-breaking conquests as the Batang Pinoy reached its climax.

Perez reigned supreme in her new weight category, 48-kgs, and did 57-62-119, erasing the 50-61-111 standard of Margaret Colonia in 2012.

Jhon Febuar, 15, scored a breakthrough gold in the Batang Pinoy with his romp in the boys’ 46-kg class built around 63-76-139, improving the meet mark of 55-75-125. Kid brother Evangelito had his own moment of glory, winning the 42-kg division in record fashion, his 60-80-140 eclipsing the old 45-70-106.

Bacolod City and Negros Occidental put an exclamation point to their co-hosting of the premier joust for 15-and-under athletes with victories in softball and futsal, respectively.

The Bacolod softbelles tripped giant-killer Pasig, 6-3, to emerge No. 1 at the Bacolod National High School grounds. The home squad unloaded two runs in the first inning to seize control and went on to post a 6-0 tear at the end of the fifth. They quashed Pasig’s late charge to secure the victory in the sport that ranks high among Bacolod’s favorite.

Negros leaned on the goals of John Michael Moreno, Philip Joseph Maluwes, Louie Gumawa, Johne Michael Malaga and Melchor Taclobos to beat Tanauan City, 5-3, for the futsal diadem at Negros Occidental Multi-purpose Center.

Over at the Panaad Sports Park and Stadium, Mandaue’s Lorraine Hann,  Jezreel Tan, Shaia Uy and Yuan Chiongbian ruled triathlon’s mixed relay aquathlon competitions in 59 minutes, 52 seconds.

Chiongbian, a silver medalist in boys’ triathlon, anchored Mandaue’s triumph in the swim-run race with a time of 13:23 as they edged Cebu’s Issa Priagula, Josh Canares, Aaliyah Mataragnon and Ralph So (1:03:05) and Laguna’s Ingrid Renee Dizon, Barryn Ilson Barrido, Hannah Angelika de Guzman, and Isiah Miguel Dizon (1:03:48) for the gold.

Hann submitted 15:12 while Tan and Uy clocked 14:40 and 16:37, respectively, to complement Chiongbian’s fast time in the event, originally a triathlon relay but played as aquathlon (swim-run) after rains from Basyang  made the bike course slippery and muddy.

Quezon City bets dominated wrestling at Gaisano Mall with eight gold medals, courtesy of Ralph Lester Maraingan (bulinggit boys 29 kg), Lea Monique Gonzaga (bulinggit girls 37 kgs), Abigail Valena (bulinggit girls 40kgs), Heidi Mae Pinon (44 kgs), and Lovely Joy Martinez (48 kgs).

Cebu City ruled three of four events in lawn tennis, with Zethley Alferez accounting for the girls’ singles crown and the doubles plum in tandem with Jana Marie Pages and Jan Godfrey Seno taking the boys’ singles. Chris Justine Prulla of San Jose City and Neil Tanggalin of Baguio City won the boys’ doubles.

Baguio bets topped taekwondo hostilities at Bacolod National HS, snaring five mints from Angela Joyce Gaw (girls finweight), Phoebe Kate de Guzman (girls welter), Ma. Kaye Romvar (girls middle), Craemer Juris Quiambao (boys fly), and Alfritz Arevalo (boys feather).


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