SWIMMER Juliana Marien Villanueva set a new Palarong Pambansa record in secondary girls 800-meter freestyle event as host Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) struck for six more gold medals in swimming, arnis, sepak takraw and wrestling to raise its total to seven golds in the ongoing Palarong Pambansa 2019 as of 1 p.m. yesterday.
Of Davraa’s seven golds, three came from swimming, two from arnis, one from wrestling and one from sepak takraw.
The 15-year-old Villanueva shattered her own 2018 Palaro record of nine minutes and 45.40 seconds (9:45.40) in Ilocos Sur by registering a new mark of 9:32.77 at the Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Sports Complex Aquatics Center yesterday.
She bested Janelle Alisa France Lin of Ilocos Region (9:36.50), who beat her for gold in secondary girls 400m freestyle last Tuesday, April 30. The latter settled for silver while Diane Canda of Soccsksargen (9:50.87) ended up with the bronze.
“I feel happy po that I was able to break my record and still be the record holder. It makes me proud of myself that all the hard work paid off,” the Precious International School of Davao (PISD) student said as she thanked her coach Jun Rodriguez for encouraging, supporting, and training her.
She said that the new Palaro record and the gold she just won is her way of saying “thank you” to Rodriguez for helping her achieve so much in her sport.
Rodriguez added there was pressure to retain her crown. “I’ve been training for this event and I wanted to defend my title as record holder,” she said.
Fellow Dabawenya Liaa Margarette Amoguis, for her part, made up for her silver finish in 200m individual medley (IM) Wednesday by capturing the elementary girls 400m freestyle gold yesterday.
Amoguis timed 4:52.35, racing past Calabarzon’s Renavive Subida (5:04.81) and Aliah Hannah Lopez of Western Visayas (5:06.79).
“I feel happy because this is my first Palaro gold in elementary. Davao also didn’t have much gold so I wanted to make Davao proud that I got a gold,” the Abbas Orchard student said, dedicating her feat to God whom she asked for guidance and strength; to her coach Haroon Cali who trained her and believed in her; to her parents who supported her and to her sister Lora Micah who comforted her in difficult times.
Over at the Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Matina, Southeast Asian (SEA) Games-bound Glennon Jhon Malisa and Julia Patricia Lastimoso delivered two arnis golds for Davraa.
Philippine National Games (PNG) 2018 champion Malisa, an incoming Grade 12 student at Davao City National High School, dominated Jerwin Jutba of Zamboanga Peninsula in their secondary boys featherweight championship match to win his first-ever Palaro gold on his third and final stint. He only won a silver in Ilocos Sur last year.
The 18-year-old Malisa, eldest of four children of a fish truck driver and housewife, shared, “Overwhelmed kaayo ko, nagbunga jud akong training. Energetic kaayo ko wala ko kabati og kulba kay nagtan-aw akong pamilya, first time nila makakita og magdula ko sa Palaro (I’m overwhelmed that my training paid off. I feel energized and I didn’t feel nervouse because my family came to watch me play in Palaro for the first time).”
Palaro newbie Lastimoso, 14, of Tagum City National High School, defeated Ryzyrell Pobletin of Cordillera Administrative Region (Caraa) to clinch the secondary girls pinweight gold for Davraa. Lastimoso, daughter of a soldier assigned in Davao City, could not believe her golden finish.
“Pangandoy ra nako ni sauna, naabot jud nako (This was just a dream, I finally achieved it),”
she said, thanking her mother for encouraging her to learn the sport.
Davraa also copped three arnis silvers through Mary Gweneth Lim (secondary girls bantamweight), Ven Kayle Nartea (secondary girls featherweight) and Riemeireyong Lumapay (secondary boys bantamweight).
Jericho Amado, who came home empty-handed from the 2018 Ilocos Sur Palaro, came back with a vengeance as he bagged the cadets boys 42-kilograms gold medal in the wrestling competition held late Wednesday afternoon at the John Paul II College of Davao.
The 15-year-old Grade 8 student of Tagum Comprehensive High School said, “Lipay ko nag gold kay wala koy medal nakuha last year (I’m happy to win gold since I did not win any medal last year),” Amado, whose father is a tricycle driver in Tagum, said.
He subdued Rawn Joss Cusay of Caraa in the finals.
His elder sister motivated him to try wrestling and since then he learned to love the sport.
Meanwhile, the Davraa secondary boys sepak takraw team from Panabo City edged Western Visayas, 2-1, to secure the gold medal at the Davao City National High School (DCNHS) Thursday.