Golden girl

TWO-TIME most bemedalled athlete Kim Andrada Villaruz started the medal haul for Western Visayas by clinching the first gold of the National Prisaa Games 2019 as newbie Mark Anthony Caseñas salvaged a bronze for Davao Region at the start of the athletics competition as of 3 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the University of Mindanao (UM) track oval.

Villaruz, 16, of Filamer Christian University in Roxas City, Capiz, was a long way ahead since the start of the secondary girls 3,000-meter run and she never looked back to secure the title with a time of 12.20.

The ninth of 12 children of a mechanic and a housewife woke up at 4 a.m. for her 6 a.m. race. She didn’t feel nervous at all.

“Hindi ako nag-expect manalo. Isip ko gina-guide ko ni God sa akong run den easy lang (I didn’t expect to win. I was just thinking that God was guiding me all throughout the run and I was taking it easy),” Villaruz said in an interview with SunStar Davao.

She collected three golds and one silver in the 2018 edition of the Games held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol while she harvested four golds and one silver in Zambales in 2017.

Western Visayas got two more golds from Izra Bartolo (secondary girls discus throw) and Jose Jerry Belibestre, Jr. (senior men’s long jump). Belibestre of Negros Occidental-Recoletos defended his title, which he copped in Bohol last year, after he registered 7.13 meters while Ilocos Region’s Rowaldo Caasi recorded 6.67m and Davao’s Caseñas with 6.52m.

The six-foot-two Arafura Games 2019 double gold medalist Caseñas, who was enduring a left knee injury, said, “Di jud makaya Mam. Naa pa koy triple jump pud ugma (I can’t push it harder, I still have a triple jump tomorrow).”

The University of Mindanao (UM) senior high school student, who seemed sad for the bronze finish, did not predict a gold but only aimed a podium finish in his debut in the Games supported by the City Government of Davao, Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

Meanwhile, Sheinne Sanchez of Northern Mindanao and Xavier Jan Cabatana of Cagayan Valley pocketed the senior women’s discus throw and secondary boys long jump, respectively.

SunStar Davao’s coverage of the National Prisaa Games 2019 is made possible by major sponsors Matina Enclaves, Santos Land Development, 8890 Holdings, Inc., Anflocor, Sky Cable and Pagcor and minor sponsors Aeon Luxe Properties, Davao Doctors College, GH Office Depot, Grand Land, Inc., Alu Hotel, Davao Medical School Foundation, NCCC and Office of the Special Assistant to the President.


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