ILOCOS SUR — A second generation swimmer from Lucena City earned the distinction of being the first gold medalist in the Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships which unfurled Saturday.
Kristian Yugo Cabana scooped the first mint in the sports meet, held for the first time after a two-year pandemic hiatus, after ruling the boys’ 12-under individual medley with a clocking of 2:29.50 at the Quirino Stadium Pool in the municipality of Bantay.
The 12-year-old tanker from Gulang-Gulang, Lucena City in the province of Quezon bested other podium finishers Kevin Chan of Valenzuela City, who came in second with 2:33.40 time, and bronze medalist Daniel Ocampo (2:35.30) of Angeles City in his first Batang Pinoy stint.
Cabana, son of former Palarong Pambansa standout and engineer and brother of University of Santo Tomas high school swimming varsity champion Yohan, still has five events on his list of assignments.
“I’m very proud of what I achieved. I was really surprised and excited I got my best time in 200 IM,” the International School for Better Beginnings seventh grader and member of the Behrouz Elite Swim Team said.
La Union’s Kyla Bulaga surprised the competition in the girls’ 12-under 200m IM with a 2:44.45 time, seven seconds clear of runner-up local bet Makayla Fetalvero (2:51.80) and Bulacan’s Eunice De Guzman.
General Santos tanker Evenezir Polancos conquered the boys’ 13-15 200m IM as he registered a 2:18.50 finish to win by a hairline over Lucena City’s Peter Dean (2:18.90) while Sean Medina of Mabalacat took the bronze with 2:22.70.
Alyssa Cabatian of Rizal topped fellow Rizal bet Aubrey Tom and Saira Pabellion to rule the girls’ 13-15 200m IM.
Jeane Bongotan of Baguio City won gold in the boys’ 12-under 50m backstroke with a 32.90 seconds finish ahead of Zachary Tovera of Puerto Princessa (33.50 secs) and Inocencio Rosario III of Quezon City (34.40).
In the girls’ 12-under 50m. backstroke, QCs Richelle Calera (34.95 secs) outshone Yza Asis (35.60 secs) and Ysabella Hermoso (36.00 secs).
Meanwhile, delegates from the participating 140 local government units joined the parade to kick off the colorful opening ceremonies held at the Quirino Stadium.
Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio along with other Olympians judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, SEA Games gold medalists Chloe Isleta and Mary Allin Aldeguer led the parade.
Host province Ilocos Sur Governor Jeremias “Jerry” Singson, Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Philippine Sports Commission chair Noli Eala and commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo graced the opening rites as well as chiefs and officials of various national sports association heads.
Medals in the center-piece athletics are at stake today at the main hub at the Quirino Stadium track oval.
Also scheduled for finals are the events in archery at the San Ildefonso Central School grounds, cycling which will start and finish at the provincial capitol diversion road and weightlifting in Caoayan gym.
Medals will also be given today in virtual events wushu and muay.