Perennial Palaro champ NCR pulls away with 38 golds
VIGAN CITY—National Capital Region showed its might in just about every field to pull away in the medal standings even as sun-kissed athletes continued to re-write records on Thursday in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa here.
The National Capital Region, hosting some of the biggest schools in the country, has collected 38 gold, 30 silver and 16 bronze medals as it appeared headed to the overall title it has won for at least the past 10 years.
NCR got a fresh golden harvest from swimming through record-setters Philip Joaquin Santos and Michaela Jasmine Mojdeh at President Elpidio Quirino Stadium, a stone’s throw away from the famed cobblestone roads and rows of ancestral houses.
Western Visayas is a far second with a 29-20-31 tally while Calabarzon is at third with 20-21-36.
Propelled by its haul in arnis and wushu, Cordillera Administrative Region is lodged at fourth (20-12-11), while Soccsksargen (15-13-19) and Central Visayas (12-8-12) are fifth and sixth, respectively.
Rounding up the top 10 as of sundown were Northern Mindanao (10-9-15), Central Luzon (10-7-11) and Davao Region (8-15-10).
Santos, 15, smashed Carlo Piccio’s 1998 record (2:13.28) in the secondary boys’ 200-meter individual medley with a time of two minutes, 13.05 seconds.
Twelve-year-old Mojdeh then registered 2:33.12 in elementary girls’ 200m individual medley, bettering the 2:33.71 of Raven Faith Alcoseba of Central Visayas last year.
Eliza Cuyom of Calabarzon also shared the spotlight after ruling the secondary girls’ 100m hurdles in 14.50 seconds that erased the 22-year-old mark of Michelle Patasaha of Western Mindanao (14.9 seconds).
“There’s no secret, you really have to train very hard. I prepared one year for this,” said the 17-year-old Cuyom who is among the rising track stars of Dasmariñas City in Cavite.
Cuyom, who on her first Palaro try landed fifth and on the second won bronze, bagged her first gold medal on her third year.
“I hope to break more records because I will still run in the relays,” she said in Filipino.
Cuyom’s teammate, century dash champion Jessel Lumapas, also etched her name in the Palaro annals after dominating her favorite secondary girls’ 400m run for her second gold here.
Seeing action in her last Palaro, the 17-year-old Lumapas clocked 56.28 seconds in surpassing the 57.33-second mark of Jenny Rose Roques of Calabarzon set in 2011.