NOT finishing a race is painful for every runner.
That's what Jericko Juyo had to endure when he got injured in the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet 5,000-meter run with still three laps to go. Thus, he was denied a slot in the Palarong Pambansa.
Yet, that became a motivating memory for him to return to the same race track where he failed.
The 18-year-old Juyo, an incoming grade 12 student at Emar Human and Environmental College (Ehec), came back with vengeance indeed as he collected two gold medals for Davao region in the recently-concluded National Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) Games 2019 at the University of Mindanao (UM) track oval in Matina, Davao City.
He topped the secondary boys 5,000m run and 3,000m steeplechase to mark his Prisaa Games debut on a high note.
"Kulba pero gi-enjoy lang nako (I was nervous but I just enjoyed the race)," Juyo, the fourth of seven children of Gelbert, a mechanic, and Nelly, a housewife, said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
He dedicated his feats to his parents, especially to his sick mother.
The Toril ace started running four years ago and is being mentored by coach Mamerto Aventurado.
Juyo dreams of representing the country in international tournaments.
"Gusto jud nako mag national team para makatabang ko sa akong pamilya og makadula sa laing nasud (I really want to become a member of the national team to help my family and compete abroad)," he added.
Such a noble dream from a student athlete who doesn't even own a mobile phone, which has become a necessity for teenagers like him. He only just borrows phone from his friends for important communication needs and goes to an internet cafe to research and check his social media account.
He added, "Naanad naman pud ko (I'm used to it)."