SAN JOSE de Buenavista, Antique—Vereuel Verdadero snatched two more gold medals from the track, as the National Capital Region (NCR) juggernaut could no longer be denied of another dominating performance in the 60th Palarong Pambansa on Thursday.
Verdadero transformed the Binirayan Sports Complex into his own playground, winning the secondary boys’ 400 meters in the morning final and giving Calabarzon a record-breaking victory in the 4×100-meter relay in the afternoon.
Winner of the 100-meter centerpiece event two days ago, Verdadero clocked 49.58 seconds to win the 400 meters, beating Marjun Sulleza (50.03) of Soccksargen and fellow Calabarzon runner Jan Vincent Alejandro (50.06).
Verdadero then teamed up with Karl Aquino, Ryan Flores and Jovianne Calixto for a gold medal-clinching 42.89 seconds, which also broke the previous record of 43.06 seconds set last year by Western Visayas.
NCR’s Manuel Guzman, Lorenz Sediarin, Rodolfo Aldonza and Lloyd Agustin clinched the silver medal also with as fast 43.0 seconds, while Davao region’s Jeremiah Cortez, Dharlie Baguisan, Warren Villarosa and Dominic Enero bagged the bronze with 43.38 seconds.
An incoming Grade 9 student at the Emilio Aguinaldo College-Immaculate Concepcion Academy, shoots for his fourth gold medal in the 200 meters on the penultimate day of the games on Friday.
Calabarzon appeared to have groomed future track champions in the Antique Palaro after Edwin Giron Jr. dominated the 1,500 meters in 4:06.25, shaming NCR’s James Darrel Orduña (4:09.43) and Davao Region’s Germar Marcelo (4:11.36).
“I just pushed myself in the last 200 meters. I reserved my energy because if I go all-out in the early laps, I will never win the gold. It’s a long race,” Giron said.
Northern Mindanao’s Camila Tubiano has also turned out as the games’ wonder girl of athletics after she topped the secondary girls’ 1,500 meters with her feet wrapped in plaster.
The barefoot runner Tubiano clocked 4:43.17 to win gold, while Davao region’s Mea Gey Ninura (4:44.20) pocketed the silver and Edralene Celestial (4:46.60) took home the bronze.
In archery, Kennyben Gallogo of the Caraga region made his mark in the secondary boys’ single Fita with 1267 points. Lloyd Apawan of Central Visayas was second with 1263 and James Michael Exclamador was third with 1241.
Ed Delina of Central Luzon defended his discus throw title in the secondary boys’ division by heaving the disc to 41.31 meters. John Boy Purisima (39.41 meters) of Negros Island Region and Christian Baustista (37.79 meters) of the Davao Region completed the podium.
In billiards, Abad Supeña Jr. of Western Visayas won the 9-ball gold medal with Wilmark Luangco of Northern Mindanao and Reynan Taba of Central Luzon settling for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
NCR was way ahead of the pack in the overall medals race with 60 golds, 37 silvers and 26 bronzes. Western Visayas could not match even half of the Big City athletes’ haul and had a 23-13-24 gold-silver-bronze tally at No. 2 on the board, followed by Soccsksargen with 17-19-21.
Image credits: Roy Domingo