Barefoot bet runs ‘extra mile,’ bags gold
VIGAN, Ilocos Sur, Philippines — Barefoot runner Leslie de Lima literally ran the extra mile in topping the secondary girls 3000 meters, besting a slew of veteran rivals to become the first gold medal winner in the Palarong Pambansa at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium here yesterday.
De Lima, 13, clocked 10 minutes and 6.54 seconds, besting Northern Mindanao’s Camila Tubiano (10:07.07) and Western Visayas’ Grace Tejones, (10:52:99).
De Lima, an incoming Grade 8 student of Baao National High School in Camarines Sur, actually didn’t realize she had already won the event and took an extra lap (400 meters) along with Tubiano before winding up her run. She later claimed not hearing the bell ring going to the last lap.
“I didn’t hear the bell ring because I was so focused on winning,” said De Lima, who finally struck gold after a pair of runner-up finishes in her first two Palaro stints, in Filipino.
While she didn’t break any record, De Lima could have chopped a few more seconds off her clocking if not for her lapse.
She, however, said she was just too happy to have pulled it off over older foes.
“I’m just happy to win,” said De Lima, who is also competing in the 800m and 1500m runs.
In other fronts, Cagayan Valley hauled a pair of gold medals in athletics. Algin Gomez ruled the secondary boys long jump while Rashied Faith Burdeos dominated the elementary girls shot put in tears.
Gomez posted a 6.96m jump to beat Calabarzon’s James Oliver Meim (6.88m) and Socsargen’s Lowell Joy Batobalani (6.76m).
Burdeos, who hails from San Gabriel, Tuguegarao heaved 10.13m in her final throw to win the gold over Rhealyn de Costa of Western Visayas (10.11m) and Hanna Ahlea Apdo (9.79m.
After coming up with the best throw of 9.80m on her first three attempts, the 13-year-old Burdeos found herself reeling to second after de Costa took the lead in her sixth and last attempt.
But Burdeos saved the best for last to emerge on top.
“It was tears of joy because I almost killed myself during training,” said Burdeos, who was accompanied by six-year-old sister Yohann.
NCR, the perennial overall champion in the annual event for elementary and high school students, ruled the secondary boys javelin throw gold through Christian Ampong, who registered 58.51m to finish ahead of Mimaropa’s John Paul Sarmiento (53:87m) and Socsargen’s Jhon Dave Tumulak (53.66m).
In afternoon events, Western Visayas’ Ann Katherine Quitoy, 17, heaved the 600-gram spear to 45m flat right on her first throw to erase the meet record of 42.85m set by Northern Mindanao’s Sylvian Faith Abunda in Antique last year in secondary girls’ javelin throw.
Meanwhile, Calabarzon routed Zamboanga, 88-52, in secondary boys basketball but the latter put the outcome under protest, citing the latter’s wrong use of uniform.
In chess at the Baluarte, Davao City, host of next year’s Palaro, copped a couple of gold medals courtesy of Aliyah Rae Lumangtad, who won the elementary girls blitz.