Votohan, Ybanez sparkle in Palaro


ARCHER Mary Queen Ybanez leads Palarong Pambasa individual performers with five goldmedals as of yesterday. ROMY HOMILLADA

STA. CRUZ, Laguna—National Capital Region took an iron-clad hold of the Palarong Pambansa gold count with its swimming romp and the heroics of Jomar Votohan, who shattered a 16-year-old mark in century dash on Wednesday.

Votohan crowned himself the meet’s fastest, ruling the high school boys’ 100 meters in 10.8 seconds to erase the 10.9 effort of Ronald Calaunan of Cagayan Valley in 1998.

Mary Queen Ybanez of Ilocos Norte captured three more gold medals in high school girls’ archery to hike her output to five titles.

The 16-year-old Ybanez, who hails from San Fernando, La Union, bagged the titles in Single Fita round, 60m and 50m to add to her triumphs in 30m and 40m on Tuesday.

The winningest athlete so far, she will still see action in the individual Olympic round, team Olympic round and mixed event Thursday.

New find Imee Joyce Saavedra spearheaded NCR’s pool assault when she fashioned out yet another record.

Saavedra topped the elementary girls’ 100-meter freestyle at the 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 ditched the 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 girls’ synchronized team double, and team girls’ synchronized single weapon.

In badminton, NCR captured the high school boys’ team title by beating Central Luzon, but lost the girls’ crown to Calabarzon.

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