OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental -- Swimmer Jay Lawson at least provided a glint of light halfway of the 2018 Batang Pinoy competition here when the ragtag Team CDO was hardly recognized in the medal tally.
As Davao del Norte vaults to the solo lead with 20 golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes, Lawson of the late-arriving Oro swimming delegates on Friday morning edged closest pursuer Yuan Gabriel Taojo of Davao del Norte, 5:18.39 to 5:23.06, in the boys 12 and under 400m freestyle for just the second gold of Cagayan de Oro in the week-long meet.
Joshua Aban of Iligan City followed them with a time of 5:23.24 to take the bronze in swim event dominated by the Dipolog City tankers.
Jivie Magnetico, who produced Cagayan de Oro’s first gilt in long jump during the opening day action at Misamis Occidental Provincial Athletic Complex (Mopac), was almost there for his second gold when he engaged in a thrilling contest with Melvin Jade Desuyo of General Santos City for the best performance in the boys’ high jump competition.
However, when the smoke of battle cleared, Desuyo cleared the bar in 1.65 feet height to win the gold. Magnetico closely bagged the silver in 1.65 height with Delmar Sadang of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur pocketing the bronze in 1.56.
Lack of support obviously took its toll on the campaign of more than 100 athletes from the City of Golden Friendship as there’s no sign of life yet in other events that they compete such as in arnis and table tennis, among others.
“Eh papano makausad kung ang budget support sa pagbalik pa sa Cagayan de Oro ibibigay eh dito kekelanganin ang suporta sa mga bata,” one national daily sports scribe could not help but sympathized on the sad plight of some Cagayan de Oro athletes who literally came here on their own.
Meanwhile, three Cagayan de Oro boxers managed to hurdle the early stage of the Batang Pinoy’s qualifying round to remain in contention for the coveted medals .
They are Angelou Lofranco, Jhasil John Illudar and Peter John Payla, who last week triumphed in the Mindanao leg semifinals of the PSC-Pacquiao amateur boxing tourney held at the Macasandig covered court in Cagayan de Oro.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 10, 2018.