JOAN Alinsunod gave the host City of Naga its first gold medal for the 2017 Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) after winning the secondary girls’ 1,500-meter event on her 17th birthday yesterday here at the Teodoro Mendiola Sr. Track and Field Oval.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Niños continued to show force as the team hauled 10 gold medals in the swimming event to firmly hold the top spot with 51 gold medals, 25 silver medals and 21 bronze medals.

Alinsunod, who’s known for running barefoot, clocked 5 minutes and 2.31 seconds to beat formidable runner Mary Joy Loberanis who had a time of 5:02.99.

The Grade 9 student of Antonio R. Lapiz National High School surprised everyone last year when she won the same event. She did it again this year.

“I’m very happy and it’s twice the happiness since it’s also my birthday. I would like to dedicate this win to the City of Naga,” said Alinsunod, who hails from Brgy. Jaguimit, which is kilometers away from the City Naga proper.

Alinsunod, who dreams to become a nurse, said that she really trained hard for 2017 Cviraa as she wants to give Palarong Pambansa another try.

When asked how she will celebrate her birthday and the win, Alinsunod just smiled and said she will just stay at home. Alisunod’s father works as a farmer, while her mother makes hanging rice (puso).

Alinsunod said that she has a running and spike shoes but she’s very comfortable running barefoot. Alinsunod will have another shot for the gold when she plays for the 3,000m and 800m final today.

Cebu City lorded it over in the swimming event with 10 gold medals to take step closer to its 25th straight title in Cviraa.

Karen Mae Andaya led the Niños in the swimming event with two gold medals, winning the secondary girls’ 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

The other gold medalists were Fredrick Albert Yuan Chiongbian in the secondary boys’ 400m freestyle, Marielle Estreba in the elementary girls’ 100m backstroke, Christante Veloso in the secondary boys’ 100m backstroke and Gil Anton Talisaysay in the secondary boys’ 200m butterfly.

The Niños also stamped class in the relay event, winning four gold medals in the 4x50m medley relay. Cebu City sweep the boys’ and girls’ elementary and secondary 4x50m medley relay.

Adding gold medals for Cebu City were Abraham Seth Pilapil in the secondary boys’ 400m, Eleiza Salinas in the secondary girls’ 100m hurdles and Crystal Villanueva in the secondary girls’ high jump.

Cebu City also won gold medals in the badminton secondary girls’ team tie and secondary boys’ team tie.