NAGA City—While Cebu City is gunning for its 24th overall title in the 2016 Central Visayas Athletic Association (Cviraa), it was Cebu Province and Naga City that took the limelight on Day 1 at the Teodoro “Doring” Mendiola Sr. Sports Field and Oval yesterday.

Cebu Province took the first two gold medals in the athletic events, while Naga City ended a six-year gold medal drought thanks to the outstanding performances of their student-athletes from Barangay Jagumuit, a mountainous place in Naga City.

Louemhel Mabelo and John Dominic Limpiado of Cebu Province both carded a personal best in their events en route to handing the first two gold medals of Cviraa 2016 to Cebu Province.

Mabelo, 12, of Abucayan Elementary School in Balamban had a 8.9-meter throw to win the elementary girls shot put over Talisay City’s Lady Ann Facilon (8.01m) and Roxanne Paragele (7.88).

This gold medal win means a lot for Mabelo, especially in convincing her parents to let her keep her sport.

“They are planning to transfer me to another school so I will be focused on studies. But I think winning this year can help me convince them to let me stay in this sport,” she told Sun.Star Cebu after winning the gold medal. Mabelo said that she’s very happy to win the gold medal and excited to play for Region 7 in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa on April 10 to 16 in Albay.

Limpiado, on the other hand, topped the secondary boys’ discus throw by recording his personal best of 33.83m. Limpiado beat Jonas Cesar Lifranco (29.86m) of Bohol Province and Kyle Mark Cotejo (28.03) of Cebu City.

This is the third Cviraa for Limpiado, 16, and his first time to win the gold medal. His first medal was silver, four years ago.

Host Naga took the spotlight after winning a gold medal after six years. Naga City ended the drought in the athletics events after Genalyn Barquio won the 1,500m elementary girls, while Joan Alinsunod added another gold in the secondary girls 1,500m.

Naga City’s coach Marvin Español credited the construction of TDMSSFO for the improvements of the runners’ performances. The rubberized oval was completed in December last year and cost P68 million.

Alinsunod of Antonio R. Lapiz High School won her event in 5 minutes, 9.31 seconds. She beat Cherry Andrin of Lapu-Lapu City (5:10.19) and Cebu City’s Mary Joy Loberanis (5:16.55).

Barguio secured the gold in 5:22.28, Wendslyn Hijapon of Cebu Province checked in at 5:26.22 for the silver medal, while Mhargie Raquel of Bohol had a time of 5:33.26.