Balaan dashes to first place barefooted

CEBU. Sixth grader Karen Balaan and her teammate after the race on Thursday, July 11, 2024.
CEBU. Sixth grader Karen Balaan and her teammate after the race on Thursday, July 11, 2024.Photo by Stephen Enrile, UP Tacloban intern

SIXTH grader Karen Balaan from Western Visayas (Region 6) finished the 400-meter run Elementary Girls race barefooted as a gold medalist on Thursday, July 11, 2024, at the Cebu City Sports Center.

Balaan’s coach, Benedicto Prasas, said Balaan's barefoot running led to further enhancements in her performance during their first trials.

“Kasi ‘pag nagtritrial kami na nakaspikes sila, medyo mataas yung time. Kung nakabarefooted sila, medyo bumababa yung time. Kaya gusto nila na barefooted na tumakbo,” Prasas said in an interview with SunStar Cebu on Thursday.

Only the athletes from Western Visayas were the ones who ran the race barefooted.

But Balaan and her teammate from the same region suffered muscle cramps after they finished the race and were given immediate medical attention.

Balaan will run in the 800-meter and 1500-meter dash, as well as the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. (Stephen Enrile, UP Tacloban intern)

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