John Mike Lera, 15, broke the seven-year-old record of 7.26 meters set my Julian Reem Fuentes of Cagayan Valley in Lingayen, Pangasinan, by registering 7.39m on his sixth and final attempt to steal the thunder from Gomez.
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John Mike Lera sets palaro record in long jump
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2019 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — John Mike Lera of Northern Mindanao outshone gold medal winner Algin Gomez of Cagayan Valley with a record-breaking performance in the secondary boys long jump to emerge with the worthiest performance at the start of the Palarong Pambansa at the University of Mindanao track oval here yesterday.

Lera, 15, broke the seven-year-old record of 7.26 meters set my Julian Reem Fuentes of Cagayan Valley in Lingayen, Pangasinan, by registering 7.39m on his sixth and final attempt to steal the thunder from Gomez.

Gomez took the mint with a jump of 7.55m that would have easily shattered the meet mark as well as the national juniors record of 7.43m set by Jose Jessie Belibestre he posted in the ASEAN Youth in Ilagan, Isabela two years ago but his wind reading of 2.80, which was over the required 2.0 and below, deprive him of it.

In the end, it was Lera who had the last laugh as his recorded wind gauge of 1.70 was enough to rearrange the meet mark and snatch the glory from Gomez.

“I didn’t expect to medal and break a record here because my personal best was just 6.71m, which I did two weeks ago,” said Lera in Filipino.

Lera, who stowed away for three years before deciding to return to school and join his school’s track and field team, said he wouldn’t have done any of his recent feat without the support of his father, Romeo, a fisherman.

“My father is my inspiration,” said Lera.

Lheslie de Lima of Bicol became the Palaro’s first gold medal winner by reigning supreme in the secondary girls’ 3000m in 10 minutes and 22.42 seconds, besting Northern Mindanao’s Camila Tubiano and Central Luzon’s Lovely Cordovilla, who clocked 10:32.32 and 10:38.82 to settle for the silver and bronze, respectively.

De Lima said she made sure she wouldn’t run the extra lap this year after making the mistake from last year.

“I counted my laps just to make sure,” said De Lima.

Also striking gold in centerpiece athletics were the National Capital Region’s Anna Marie Masangkay (secondary girls’ discus throw), Bangsa Moro Autonomous Region’s Rozikan Balili (elementary boys’ long jump) and Central Luzon’s Bellanca Marie Valerio (elementary girls’ discus throw).

Princess Sheryl Valdez of Socsargen emerged the first double-gold medalist here by copping two in arnis, including the elementary girls’ creative anyo single baston.

Valdez’s teammate Miguel John Clavaton pocketed the mint in the elementary boys’ creative anyo single baston.

In chess, International Master Daniel Quizon swept all his seven games in the secondary boys’ blitz event to account for one of the three golds claimed by Calabarzon in the sport.

notes: The Department of Education has allowed PATAFA, the governing body in the sport, to supervise this year’s competition after a disastrous ending last year in Vigan, Ilocos Sur when all meet records that were set were never recognized. Minus PATAFA’s expertise in 2018, the Palaro’s first event, the girls’ 3000m, had participants running an extra lap – 400m – while all the events lacked the wind-reading equipment required to determine if a distance or time is a record or not. 

ALGIN GOMEZ JOHN MIKE LERA LONG JUMP
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