Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cordero rips 14-year-old mark

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – National Capital Region shifted its assault from the mat to the pool as it won two gold medals at the start of swimming competitions, including a record-breaking feat in 200m fly, in Day 3 of the Palarong Pambansa here yesterday. Delia Cordero, who came from a family of swimmers who were former national team members, captured the 200m butterfly gold in record fashion, turning in a two-minute, 22.16-second clocking to shatter the 14-year-old mark of 2:26.22 posted by Atlhea Lim in Bacolod City. Catherine Bondad, the most bemedalled athlete in the last two editions of the Palaro in Tarlac and Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, topped the 400m free for secondary girls while Axel Ngui ruled the 100m backstroke for secondary boys. “I felt a little bit pressured being a former Most Outstanding Athlete in the Palaro,” said Bondad, coming off a couple of international stints in Hong Kong, where she won a gold, and in Singapore. “But when I started to swim, I started to relax,” said Bondad, a 13-year-old freshman at San Beda Alabang who topped the 400m in 4:47.19. She came back later to win the 100m back in 1:09.54 for her second gold. The 18-year-old Ngui, an incoming Ateneo freshman, outclassed the field in his pet 400m free event, posting a 4:19.02 clocking before coming out of nowhere to pull off a surprise in the 100m back in 1:03.58. It was a sweet come-from-behind win for Ngui, who had the second worst time in the eight-man finale before surprising the likes of Calabarzon’s Christian Dimaculangan and fellow NCR bet Jan Jeric Santos, who timed 1:04.43 and 1:05.03 for second and third, respectively. “It was unexpected because I had the second worst time among the eighth finalists. I just gave it all,” said the six-foot Ngui, who could be a basketball player but gave it up to concentrate on swimming. Bondad is expected to go for five more golds with three individual events and two relay races to come while Ngui will still see action in the 100m free, 110m fly, 200m free, 4x100m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle relay. Other gold medal winners were Calabarzon’s Jose Mari Sebastian Arcilla (200m free) and Nicole Meah Pamintuan (200m free) and the NCR’s Joshua Benzi Yang (100m back) and Andria Ysabel Canlas (100m back). In athletics, Ilocos, the home of former Gintong Alay chief Michael Keon, struck with its first gold courtesy of Danilo Abarra, who saved the best for last to snatch the secondary boys javelin gold with a 51.51-meter heave. Running third going into the sixth and final attempt, Abarra gave it all and threw past Central Luzon’s Bryan Jay Pacheco and Western Visayas’ Renly John Gemolaga, who dropped from first and second to third to settle for silver and bronze with distances of 51.44m and 51.24m, respectively. NCR also won its first track and field gold through Ira Perlita Ynot, who reigned supreme in the secondary girls long jump with 5.32m. She bested Western Visayas’ Mary Anthony Diesto, one of the 11 Batang Pinoy winners chosen to train in London this year, and Northern Mindanao’s Judy Mae Almasa with jumps of 5.09m and 5.05m. Bicol’s John Roek Sariola topped the elementary boys discus throw in 28.39m and Western Visayas ruled elementary girls triple jump in 10.31m. On other fronts, Western Visayas dumped Mimaropa, 3-0, in football competitions. Mimaropa also routed Ilocos, 8-0, Bicol trounced Caraga, 3-1, and Northern Mindanao whipped Eastern Visayas, 8-0. In secondary basketball, the Big City bets survived a stubborn Central Luzon, 80-74, and Davao waylaid Cagayan Valley, 88-43. Mimaropa slammed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 85-43, and Eastern Visayas dumped Bicol, 56-30, in elementary basketball. In elementary tennis, Central Visayas beat Eastern Visayas, 8-0, 8-1, Northern Mindanao bashed Ilocos, 8-2, 8-2, and Mimaropa repulsed Central Luzon, 5-8, 8-1, 9-7. NCR also shone in secondary boys tennis as it beat Western Visayas, 2-0, to join Zamboanga, which dropped Bicol, 2-1, and Calabarzon, which toppled Cordillera Administrative Region, which beat Mimaropa, 2-1, in the win tally. In sepak takraw, Western Visayas turned back a pesky ARMM, 21-18, 21-11. - By Joey Villar