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ILOCOS SUR — A pair of hawk-eyed archers, a brawny hurdler and a lightning-quick cyclist took the spotlight in the Batang Pinoy National Championships staged around the province on Monday.
Jathniel Caleb Fernandez of Baguio City and Adrianna Jessie Magbojos of Sta. Rosa City each scooped up five gold apiece to move on the cusp of becoming the most be-medaled athletes of the games.
Both nine-year-old sensations were unshakeable in the 10 meters, 15m, 20m, 30m, and total and should come in as heavy favorites in today’s Olympic round staged at the San Ildefonso Central School grounds.
Mr. Fernandez’s dad, Randy, later revealed his son has the same bow, quiver and equipment used by his three elder siblings when they were still actively competing on the national stage.
“Archery equipment are expensive and I’m happy my children took up the same sport,” said the eldest Mr. Fernandez, who makes a living as a machine operator.
Mico Villaran of Bacolod City, for his part, struck in centerpiece athletics at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay where he copped the hurdles gold in 110m and 200m while Maritanya Krogg of Caloocan made her mark in cycling set in front of the Provincial Capitol in Vigan where she added an individual time trial mint to her criterium gold the day before.
The 15-year-old Romanito Maravilla ninth-grader will try to complete a golden hurdles treble as he was running in the 400m hurdles at press time while the 13-year-old Baesa High ninth-grader eyes a cycling triple crown as she competes in road race today.
“My dream to race in the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games and abroad,” said Mr. Villaran, who went into running after he got rejected from his school teams in badminton and volleyball.
Also striking cycling gold were Pangasinan’s Jerick Cabael (14:06.448) in boys’ 13-and-below, Harvy Dolutan (22:32.823) in boys 14-15 and Aira Danara Gregorio (15:26.385) in girls 14-15.
Over at the Quirino Stadium pool, Angeles’ Daniel Jonas Ocampo (boys’ 200m back 12-under), Laguna’s Jaella Mische Mendoza (girls’ 200m back 12-under) and Lucena’s Peter Cyrus Dean (boys’ 200m back 13-15) all splashed through golden swims.
In the shadow box event of muay thai done online, General Santos raked in five golden performances courtesy of Atasha Althea Amoguis (girls’ 10 years old), Keith Margaret Balinas (boys 12), Risha Althea Amoguis (girls 13), Aldrien Balandan (boys 14) and Rhyzel Chen Sevilleno (girls 15).
Olongapo and Baguio also each have three in the same discipline with Gabriel Sapao (boys 12) and Xian Denise Robillos (girls 14) coming through for the former and Laike Javon Casuga (boys 10), Lyre Anie Ngina (girls 11) and Edel Ali Ngina (boys 15) accounting for the latter’s haul.
Other gold winners were Laguna’s Brent Jossef Urrete (boys 11) and Pasig’s Jan Brix Ramiscal (boys 14). — Joey Villar