Swim, track stars dominate PNG
BACOLOD CITY—Asian Games veterans Jessie Khing Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi sparkled on the pool to highlight another show of favorites yesterday in the Philippine National Games.
Lacuna, the national swimmer from Pulilan, Bulacan, scooped up four gold medals while Alkhaldi struck for three as they underscored their status as shoo-in for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia in November.
A Youth Olympic Games campaigner in Singapore also last year, Lacuna topped the 200-meter freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 50m free with ease then anchored his province to a dramatic triumph in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
Lacuna, who swam four freestyle events out of six during the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, trailed by two meters in the final leg of the relay but went on to easily beat Tangub City’s Ladiemar Mangumpit to secure his fourth gold.
Bulacan timed 2 minutes 7.70 seconds with Tangub second in 2:11.35. Host Bacolod City copped the bronze in 2:11.73.
Lacuna clocked 1:11.21 in the 100m breast, 25.02 seconds in the 50m free and 1:55.94 in the 200 free.
The 17-year-old has a chance to make it six golds with the 200m individual medley and 50 breast coming up.
“We’ve been training nonstop since I became part of the national team,” said Lacuna.
Alkhaldi won the girls’ 200 free in 2:08.91, apart from taking the golds in the 50 fly (28.90 seconds) and 50 free (27.30). The Youth Olympics tanker is also aiming to dominate the 100 free and 100 fly today.
“Training has been quite demanding, especially before we came here. But there should be no excuses,” said Alkhaldi, 17.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Ritchie Garcia had earlier declared that members of the national pool should do well in the games or lose their PSC allowances.
Gymnastics produced another multiple medalist in Sheryll Contillo, who pocketed four golds in the rhythmic events of hoop, ball and ribbon and all-around honors (78.61 points) at the San Agustin College gymnasium.
Except for the nod of the judges in the clubs, tournament favorite Danica Calapatan prevailed in the clubs and ended up second in the all-around with 77.30 points.
In track and field, long jump queenclinched her second gold after capturing the women’s triple jump title in 12.55 meters.
Long-distance runner Eduardo Buenavista topped fellow national mainstay Julius Sermona in the 10,000m run while SEA Games gold medalist Danilo Fresnido won the men’s javelin throw at 64.20 meters. National sprinter Julius Nierras ruled both the added the 200- and 400-m dash.
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