Palarong Pambansa: Swimmers boost NCR’s gold haulBy Marc Anthony Reyes |Philippine Daily Inquirer
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—National Capital Region boosted its overall golden output with another bumper harvest from the swimming pool where new find Imee Joyce Saavedra fashioned out yet another record Wednesday in the Palarong Pambansa here.
Saavedra topped the elementary girls’ 100-meter freestyle at the crowded Laguna Sports Complex, clocking one minute and 3.03 seconds in the heats to wipe out Jasmine Al-Khaldi’s 1:03.46 mark in 2006, then easing up with slower 1:03.34 in the finals.
She set another record en route to the 200m free title Tuesday. NCR collected 11 golds from the pool to hike its overall gold medal tally to 35 golds on top of 13 silvers and 17 bronzes.
Host Calabarzon was a far second with a gold-silver-bronze count of 17-15-14 as of 6 p.m. Western Visayas (10-8-10), Cordillera Administrative Region (7-8-5), Central Visayas (6-8-5), Central Luzon (5-4-8) and Ilocos Region (5-0-0) rounded out the top 7 as organizers of this year’s edition ditched its old scoring method and reverted back to the Olympic medal system.
Calabarzon captured three golds in swimming, including a thrilling win over NCR in elementary girls’ 400m relay where Saavedra — inexplicably swam the breaststroke leg.
The 12-year-old Saavedra, an incoming high school freshman at Diliman Preparatory School, placed third in the 50m breast which was won by Calabarzon’s Bela Louise Magtibay.
Cordillera Administrative Region dominated arnis, claiming six gold medals over at Laguna State Polytechnic University.
Joemarson Ray Abodadi accounted for two victories in high school boys’ anyo individual single and double weapon.
Teammate Ravena Murillo grabbed the elementary boys’ individual anyo solo baston, while CAR also prevailed in high school boys’ and girl’s synchronized team double, and team girls’ synchronized single weapon.
In badminton at Whackers in Victoria town, NCR captured the high school boys’ team title by beating Central Luzon, but lost the girls’ crown to Calabarzon.
Western Visayas ruled the elementary girls’ title over NCR, while Central Visayas dominated Western Visayas for the elementary boys’ crown. NCR also made its presence felt in track and field with University of the Philippines’ Jaime Immanuel Mejia ruling the high school boys’ 400-meter hurdles.
Calabarzon picked up three athletics golds through Josefina Yjay Baloloy in high school girls’ 400m hurdles, Gilbert Rutaquio in high school boys’ 3,000m steeplechase and Kenneth Rafanan in boys’ discus throw.