IRAA athlete wins first gold, shatters javelin throw record
Dapitan City— A 17-year-old athlete from the Ilocos Regional Athletic Association (IRAA) of Region 1 went on a tear yesterday, breaking a 13-year-old record and winning the first gold medal in the 2011 Palarong Pambansa here.
It was some sort of a deja vu for javelin thrower Stephanie Cimatu as she was also the first athlete to win a gold medal in last year’s Palarong Pambansa held in Tarlac.
Cimatu, a daughter of a farmer, sealed her record-breaking performance right in her first attempt in the secondary javelin throw event, throwing the iron spear to 40.21 meters that shattered the 13-year-old record of Melva Quirino from the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA).
Quirino held the record since 1998 with a 39.72-meter throw.
Cimatu from Luzon National High School established a new record in her second attempt with a mark of 41.27. Cimatu’s third try was 41.09 meters.
“Ibinuhos ko na ang lahat,” said Cimatu, who is a member of the RP junior team which competed in last year’s Asian Youth Games.
Cimatu’s fifth gold in six Palarong Pambansa’s stints gave Region 1 seven points.
While Region 1 took off to a productive start, Region 7 was silent after it settled for a silver finish in the elementary team event of the women’s artistic gymnastics.
CVRAA finished with 87.5 points, losing the gold medal to National Capitol Region (NCR), which tallied 96.points. Region 12 bagged the bronze medal with 86.1 points.
NCR earned 10 points, Region 7 eight, and Region 12 six.
Region 7’s Dianne Sophia settled for sixth place in the individual all-around event and earned a meager one point.
The gold went to NCR’s Rachel Arellano followed by teammates Francine Balburias and Jilian Eunice Reyes, who bagged the silver and bronze, respectively.
Region 7 failed to snatch a medal in the team event of the secondary women’s artistic gymnastics, where it finished fifth with 75.25 points.
Winning gold was NCR, which finished with 105.2, points followed by silver and bronze finishers Region 4-A and Region 3.
Despite the slow start, the Region 7 athletes are still upbeat of their chances of improving their fourth place finish last year.
“We are still hopeful since we have won almost of the non-medal games played today (yesterday),” said Region 7 delegation head Recaredo Borgonia, regional director of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7).
In the basketball elementary division, Region 7 nearly squandered a 20-point lead before outlasting Region 10, 61-57.
In the badminton elementary division, Region 7, composed of Jessa Diamante, Android Rose Tingson, Tricia Merced Opon and Laville Laborte, nipped Region 2, 2-0.
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