Long jump mark highlights Day 1By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—A record fell in a dramatic first day of the Palarong Pambansa here yesterday.
As promised, strong performances took the lid off the weeklong competition for public elementary and high school athletes with a barefooted runner from Western Visayas coming from behind in a pulsating 5,000-meter finish to nail the first gold medal of the meet, before a long jumper from Cagayan Valley dished out a record-breaking triumph at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center.
Dexter Galos, a 17-year-old graduate of Hacienda Conchita National High School, rallied to nip Arnold Galap of Cordillera Autonomous Region, who thought he had crossed the finish line first.
The silver medalist last year, Galos, from San Dionisio town, some 114 kilometers from Iloilo City, clocked 16 minutes and 1.2 seconds like Galap. But the photo-finish video showed Galos winning by half a head over his fading opponent.
“I only caught up with him at the finish line,” said the jolly, diminutive Galos in Filipino. “In the last 100 meters he was still about 15 meters ahead.”
Because he was running a fever when he arrived here by boat last Monday, Galos said he failed to train as much as he wished.
Later in the morning, Julian Fuentes of Region 2 smashed the 10-year-old mark in the high school boys’ long jump with a leap of 7.26 meters.
Despite an awkward takeoff, Fuentes shattered the 7.17m record of Paulo Martinez of Southern Tagalog and came close to the national junior record of 7.41m held by Joebert Delicano.
The Cordon, Isabela, teenager set the new standard on his fifth jump, surpassing his personal best of 6.85m that won him silver in Dapitan City last year.
The 5-foot-9, 17-year-old Fuentes, who is already being chased by top Metro Manila schools, will still see action in the triple jump and high jump.
Jhun Magtibay of Calabarzon finished second (6.45m) and Rowel Alarcon of WV third (6.41m).
Richee Joy Cabanhog of WV captured the gold in the boys’ shot put with a throw of 13.90m using a 7 kg ball. The feat would have tied the 1990 record of Arthur Enon of Western Mindanao but the ball used then weighed 7.26.
Brian Joy Pacheco of Central Luzon (12.90m) was second while NCR’s Gerry Santiago (12.88) was third.
WV picked up a third gold when Evalyn Palabrica won the high school girls’ javelin with a throw of 39.61m, beating Rinalyn Apos of Region 13 (36.90m), and Jenalyn Arle of Calabarzon (35.60m).
Meanwhile, security was tightened in anticipation of the arrival here of President Aquino, who will open the games at 10 a.m. today. Presidential Security Group and police officers were deployed around the 21,000-seat stadium.