LUNA, Apayao -- Host province Apayao surprised the field after storming to an early second place bagging nine gold medals even as powerhouse Baguio City made moves to retain the overall title of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa).
Athletes from the summer capital secured 14 gold medals to take an early lead while Apayao pulled nine golds in the weeklong regional sports meet backed by the Department of Education. Abra also took three gold medals and is who currently at third on the first day of competition held at the Apayao Eco–Tourism and Sports Complex in Payanan, Luna.
Apayao’s Johanna Ysam Tabunigao lead the home turf onslaught bagging the gold in shot put (elementary girls) together with John Mark Solimen 36.97 heave in discuss throw (secondary boys) to clinch the top prize.
Other gold medalists for Apayao include Ezekiel Balyao (elementary girls - long jump) and Jessica Wakat (secondary girls – shot put).
Baguio City leaned on its archers as Angela Villamor punched another ticket to the Palarong Pambansa by winning the gold medal in archery girls 50 meters (secondary) while Rueben Supena took the win for the city in the 50 meters archery secondary boys.
Ira Mae Gali and Sheila Mae Domiles also took home the gold medal in the 1500 meters run for secondary and elementary girls.
Baguio City earned the first gold of the competition by besting seven other local government units bagging the medal in the kadang – kadang (wooden stilts) event composed of Z-U-Lead Bingi-il, Nover James Eladjoe, Henzie Heyns Politod, John Sawadan, and Jerick Sobanggi as part of the IPED demo games.
Perennial second placer Benguet meanwhile is currently running at fourth tied with Tabuk City having two golds each while Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province have one gold each.