Lora Micah Amogius and John Lloyd Cabalo became double gold winners late Saturday night as the Philippines won 10 gold medals in Day 1 of the 2019 Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia.
Amogius captured gold medals in the 13-14 100m backstroke and the 200m individual medley in swimming. Meanwhile, Cabalo topped the men’s 400m run and the men’s 4x100m relay in athletics to emerge as the first two double gold medalists in the Philippine campaign supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and Standard Insurance.
The 13-year-old Amogius clocked 1:10.53 in the 100m backstroke, about two seconds ahead of second placer Taila Jane Wilkinson of Western Australia (1:12.19). The Davao City lass also ruled 200m IM with a time of 2:33.63, three seconds adrift of Wilkinson in the event held at the Parap Swimming Pool.
Over at the Marrara Sporting Complex, the 18-year-old Cabalo also won in dominating fashion in the 400m run, crossing the finish line at 50.73 seconds, two seconds ahead of Blair Andrews of Northern Territory (52.08) and Joseph Salmon of Northern Territory (52.34).
The National University standout teamed up with Joviane Calixto, Jason Buenacosa, and Romel Bautista to win the 4x100m relay with a time of 43.49 seconds, beating entries from Northern Territory and Malaysia.
The Philippines won six more golds to go along with 12 silvers, and six bronzes in an eventful first day for the country in the multi-sports competition which is making a return after an eight-year hiatus.
Also winning the gold Saturday were Ivo Nikolai Enot (13-14 men’s 100m backstroke) in swimming, and Abigail Manzano (women’s 3,000m steeplechase), Nicko Caparoso (men’s 3,000m steeplechase), Bruce Fernia (men’s javelin throw), Jessel Lumapas (women’s 400m run), and Mark Anthony Casena (men’s triple jump) in athletics.
Amogius, who also captured the silver in the 200m freestyle medley Saturday, shattered her personal marks in winning the two golds.
“I’m really happy and I broke all my times. I’m very, very happy and honored to swim for the Philippines because it’s my country and I’m proud to be a Filipino,” said Amogius, a Batang Pinoy standout who also won one gold and one silver last year in the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games.
Cabalo, a Puerto Princesa native, is eyeing for more gold medals, as he is also entered in the 4x400m, 800m, and 1,500m run.
“Pangarap ko talaga mag-gold dito sa Australia kasi hindi basta basta ‘yung mga kalaban at sobrang lalaki din talaga. Kanina halos hanggang dibdib lang din ako ng mga tiga-Australia,” said Cabalo.
Action continues Monday for Filipino athletes with the final day of the athletics and swimming competitions, and muay.