GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Mindanao and Puerto Princesa City salvaged victories in athletics and pencak silat to keep the Philippines afloat in the 7th Bimp-Eaga Friendship Games yesterday.
Middle-distance runner Jila Dela Rosa ruled the 1500-meter run and Malou Gepolani made it two in a row for Puerto Princesa after striking gold in women’s javelin on a sweltering day dominated by defending overall champion Sabah.
Dela Rosa, an 18-year-old education major from the University of Sto. Tomas, sprinted on the final bend to secure the 1500m with plenty to spare in 5:03.71. Raznie Faradillah of Sarawak, Malaysia, (5:14.73) edged Sabah’s Gabi Salesnella (5:14.93) for silver.
Gepolani, who trained under Elma Muros-Posadas as a freshman at the University of the East, heaved the spear to 30.77 meters, more than enough to topple the Mindanao tandem of Aiza Coma (29.05) and Mary Jane Lawas (27.80).
Not to be outdone, Mindanao’s May Meder Langi also shoved herself into the spotlight in a tight victory in the women’s 400m (1:00.17).
Romnick El Nor of Mindanano, projected as a double-gold performer on the track, failed to live up to expectations.
The 16-year-old El Nor, unbeaten in the 100m and 200m dash of the 2011 Palarong Pambansa, got out of starting block late in the 100m and didn’t finish the 200m after suffering a hamstring injury halfway in the race.
The Philippines plucked a gold medal in pencak silat with Mindanao’s Nohman Ladjamatu, Abdul Gani Ishmael and Al Shamier Ibnohasim topping the regu male competition.