Aubrey Tom of Cainta, Rizal stole some of the spotlight from national record-holder Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Paranaque and scooped up three gold medals in swimming, Tuesday in the Luzon Leg of the 2019 Philippine National Youth Games-Batang Pinoy at the Isabela Sports Complex in Ilagan City.
Eagle-eyed Jemuelle Espiritu of Baguio City took the first archery gold after firing 661 on 333-328 aggregate. She bested by a mile a field that included Geriemee Ranchez of La Union and Julian Harman Resuello of Pangasinan, who fired 619 and 610 to settle for the silver and bronze, respectively, at the City Hotel open field.
Mark Jay Bacojo and Gio Troy Ventura gave Dasmariñas, Cavite a pair of golden efforts in chess, topping the rapid event for boys 12-under and 13-15 years old at the Xentro Mall.
Jenelle Ann Adriano and Luke Albert Capulong of San Jose, Nueva Ecija struck a few golds each in pencak silat at the Brgy. Osmeña covered court.
Adriano, 11, topped the pre-teen girls tunggal and joined forces with Camille Treses and Anne Mariel dela Rosa to capture the team regu division. Meanwhile, Capulong, 10, ruled the pre-teen boys tungal and ganda with Samuel Benedict Ramos.
While all eyes were on Mojdeh – the owner of national marks in the 100m and 200m butterfly – Tom, 12, splashed her way to golds in the girls’ 12-under 200m individual medley in two minutes in 37.95 seconds; 100m freestyle in 1:04.24; and 50m backstroke in 34.20, to become the first triple gold medal winner of this week-long meet for in and out-of-school youth athletes aged 15 years and below.
The sixth-grader from International Learning Academy – who is seeking win two more golds in 50m fly Wednesday and 50m freestyle tomorrow, and a couple more in relay races – later said she wasn’t surprised she won in all her events, even though this is her first time in Batang Pinoy.
“Yes, I expected it because of my training. My coach kept telling me to strike hard all the time so I could improve on my time,” said Tom referring to mentor Jaime Villa.
For her part, Mojdeh, a 12-year-old competing in the 13-15 years old bracket, came through as expected. She reigned supreme in the 200m individual medley in 2:34.91 and 400m IM in 5:25.11, and should be unbeatable in her last three events – 100m and 50m fly tomorrow, and 200m fly on Thursday.
“My time is okay, it was not too slow,” said Mojdeh, a Palarong Pambansa multiple gold medal winner who raked in six golds in a Japan tournament where she also emerged the most outstanding swimmer.
Also striking golds at the pool were Marikina’s Samuel Villanueva (12-under 200m IM); Dagupan’s Gabriel Jizmundo (13-15 200m IM); Quezon City’s Patrick Anthony Vidal (12-under 100m free); La Union’s Johan Carlos Aguilen (13-15 100m free); Puerto Princesa’s Mary Sophia Manantan (13-15 100m free); Paranaque’s Mark Dula (12-under 50m back); Laguna’s Prince Dave Calma (13-15 50m back) and Philip Miguel Mendoza (15-under 400m IM); and Puerto Princesa’s Quendy Fernandez (13-15 50m back).
In archery, Makati’s Cassandra Louise Enecio won the yeoman girls gold with a 660, while Pasig’s Guillana Venice Garcia fired 665 to claim bowman girls mint.
In lawn tennis, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan defeated Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 2-0, to pocket the girls’ team event, while Ilocos Norte dumped Pangasinan, 2-0, to grab the boys’ team mint.
Meanwhile, centerpiece athletics unfolds on Wednesday at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex.