Verdadero Palaro’s fastest; Calabarzon sweeps 100 meters
VIGAN CITY—Veruel Verdadero darted from the starting block to the finish in record style in ruling the centerpiece 100-meter dash of the Palarong Pambansa on Wednesday and, from the looks of it, appears headed to the national team.
The 16-year-old Verdadero of Calabarzon crowned himself the fastest athlete here with a time of 10.55 seconds, improving the meet mark of 10.65 he set during the heats on Tuesday at President Elpidio Quirino Stadium.
“I really went for it full speed,” Verdadero said in Filipino as he put himself in position to duplicate a five-gold feat during last year’s edition in Antique. He has four more sprints and relay events coming.
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association official Edward Kho said that they are monitoring Verdadero’s progress, along with other standouts of the meet.
“I train every day and work very hard because I want to improve consistently,” said the incoming Grade 11 student at Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Vince Jayson Buhayan of Western Visayas checked in second to Verdadero with a time of 10.88 seconds, with David Granadozo bagging the bronze at 11.05.
Schools like La Salle, Jose Rizal University, Brent School and National University are already giving him scholarship offers, Verdadero said.
Verdadero’s teammate Jessel Lumapas, who has been gearing for the 400-meters, ruled the girls’ secondary 100-meter dash after coming from behind and making a move only in the final 20 meters to win in 11.99 seconds.
Bianca Jane Combate timed 12.20 and nosed out Eastern Visayas teammate Decerie Niala (12.21) for the silver medal.
Also rocking the competitions and setting new Palaro records were Ed Delina of Central Luzon in secondary boys’ discus throw, Avegail Beltran of Western Visayas in elementary girls’ javelin, and Kent Brian Celeste also of Western Visayas, in secondary boys’ high jump.
Delina chalked 42.67 meters to smash the old mark of Clifford John Bonjoc of Central Visayas (41.62) in 2005. Beltran’s 41.46-meter heave now also stands as the new mark, replacing the 40.63 of Gia Bucag of Central Visayas in 2010.
Celeste leaped to 1.99 meters to better the 1.95 of fellow Western Visayas athlete Alexis Sogueno in 2015.
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