Swimmer Taguinod heads PSC-Batang Pinoy prized finds
VIGAN CITY—At the close of the Luzon qualifying leg of the Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy Games here, a door opened for the Philippine Sports Institute for its talent-discovery agenda.
Swimmer Jalil Taguinod of Santiago City, Isabela, captured five gold medals in swimming after beating all of his rivals in the boys 12-under 50m and 200m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley several seconds apart.
Yet what matters most was not the number of victories that Taguinod brought home from the sportsfest designed to find gifted athletes 15 years old and younger. Taguinod is already 5-foot-8 and he’s only 11 years old.
“These are the types of young potential athletes that we want to develop into elite athletes capable of winning gold medals in the international arena,’’ said Marlon Malbog, PSI deputy director for grassroots development.
The Sports Science Series of the PSI coincided with the week-long Batang Pinoy here where 631 local government officials, sports leaders, athletes, PE teachers and sports stakeholders in Ilocos Sur attended seminars about sports nutrition, sports psychology, first aid in sports and athletic performance assessment among children.
Financially backed by the PSC, the PSI also took the opportunity to pinpoint talented athletes from the 17 sports held in different venues scattered across this historic city and neighboring towns.
Aside from Taguinod, worth investing on are archer Bryan Amir Eugenio of Tarlac City, 5-foot-10 lightweight boxer Donald Laurejas of Mandaluyong City and Laguna’s Jochelle Alvarez, who topped the girls’ 13-15 badminton singles and doubles with Maria Ariana Belene.
Trackster Jason Jabol of Dasmariñas City was the fastest kid in the Games after sweeping the 100m and 200m sprints and winning the boys’ long jump while Tara Borlain, a three-time IronKids champion, showed her potential in long and middle distances by topping the girls 3000m and 800m.
Already on the radar of the national team are chessers Kylen Joy Mordido and Michael Concio of Dasmariñas City after they won the standard and rapid events.
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