CEBU CITY - For Diana Mae Memoracion, winning the senior women's 800-meter run gold medal was her birthday gift to coach Emilio "Toto" Lacanaria but senior men's 50-meter breastroke champion Samuel John Alcos was disappointed for not beating his own best time.
Memoracion, 20, who recently graduated from Senior High School at the Emar Human and Environmental College, clocked two minutes and 31.2 seconds at the Cebu City Sports Center here Monday, May 21.
She, who plans to study Criminology at the University of Mindanao, was teary-eyed when she reached the finish line, giving out a sigh of relief as she was trying to catch her breath.
"Para ni kay coach Toto, gift nako sa iyang birthday today. Mao ra jud iyang gipangayo nga mag gold, gift ra jud daw para sa iyaha (This is for Coach Toto, my birthday gift for him. All he asked for a gift was a gold medal from us)," Memoracion said.
She did not expect winning the gold. "Nagdagan ko ingon ko sa akong sarili nga kaya nako ni (While I was running I was telling myself that I can do it)," the multi-titled runner told Sun.Star Davao via Facebook live, saying that her feat was to redeem herself from a dismal two-bronze performance in the National Prisaa Games 2018 in Bohol last April.
She thanked God, her coach, her family and the city government of Davao whom she dedicated her PNG debut title victory.
The Dabawenya, who joins just every fun run in Davao City to augment the meager family income with her cash winnings, eyes two more golds in 400-meter hurdles and 1,500-meter run.
Her PNG feat may just earn her a spot in the national team. "Siguro duol najud ni sa akong pangandoy makasulod sa national team (I may be a step closer to making it to the national team)," she said.
Marky Anthony Casenas of Davao City added a silver in boys long jump while Christine Jean Pongaron pocketed a bronze in youth girls 100m.
Meanwhile, 27-year-old Alcos, a swimming instructor at the Ateneo de Davao University, timed 30.97 seconds to rule the boys 16-above 50m breastroke over Cebu City's Junvic Tiro (32.63) and Dagupan City's Paul Andrew Rioflorido (32.88) who got the silver and bronze, respectively.
Alcos, whose seed time was 29.22, said, "I was disappointed with my performance but as a coach I also know that these things tend to happen. Just glad I came out with the win."
He claimed that it was his slowest swim for the event this year. "I had less than a week to prepare for this meet because we just finished Phil National Age-Group in Tagum plus an 11-day off for coaching in the Palarong Pambansa."
Alcos said that he already represented the country but this is his first time to compete for Davao City.
"I have two more individual events. I will try to go for a sweep," he added.