Past, future PH stars grab limelightBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DUMAGUETE CITY—The past and future stars of Philippine sports grabbed the limelight in their favorite events yesterday in the POC-PSC National Games here.
Nine-time Southeast Asian Games judo gold medalist John Baylon and Olympian archer and hometown heroine Jennifer Chan flashed their old brilliance even as young Felyn Dolloso shattered a national junior record, and Olympic-bound Jessie King Lacuna captured five golds from the swimming pool.
All made up and with colorful nail polish to boot, the 19-year-old Dolloso was the most striking figure at the Perdices Sports Complex when she cleared 12.55 meters and established a new mark in girls’ triple jump, breaking her old mark of 12.53m accomplished in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa in Tarlac City.
Lacuna, also 19, capped his preparation for the London Games when he ruled the men’s 100-meter butterfly and 200m individual medley to add to his earlier victories in the 100m freestyle, 400m free and 1,500m free.
Now 47, Baylon, competing for Zamboanga, needed less than 10 seconds to dispose of CJ San Pedro of La Salle and grab the gold medal in the -90kg class of judo competitions at the Negros Oriental State University.
He has won SEAG gold from 1991 to 2009 but father time caught up with him last year when he fell in the quarterfinals.
“This is my way of helping the sports. Although I’m retired as a player, I play with the young ones to teach them,” said Baylon.
Chan, 47, also defied the years by topping the women’s compound open qualification round with 696 points at the City High School in the Games organized by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, and sponsored by Smart Communications, Summit Mineral Water, Standard Insurance, TV5, AKTV, 2Go, Ayala Corp., Cebu Pacific, Accel, Pocari Sweat, Scratch It Go for Gold, SM Investments and Puregold Price Club.
She beat National Capital Region’s Amaya Paz Cojuangco (682) and another Olympian, Joan Tabanag (652). Chan, whose last gold came in the 2009 SEA Games, hails from this city along with the sport’s other notables like Tabanag and Mark Javier.
Delfin Adriano of NCR reigned supreme in men’s compound open Olympic round with 144 points besting teammate Earl Benjamin Yap by just one point. Cebu’s Sombrio Rosendo was third with 142.
In track and field, Jerome Oclaret of Tangub created a stir when he salvaged a silver medal in decathlon despite using a bamboo stick in his pole vault event. Oclaret and his teammates signed a waiver to dispense with the usual fiberglass pole in favor of bamboo.