MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines picked up a total of 4 gold medals – all coming from girls’ athletics – in the opening weekend of the 10th ASEAN Schools Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After Evangelene Caminong ruled the high jump and set a new Philippine junior mark on Saturday, July 21, the country won 3 more gold medals the next day from Trexie dela Torre (long jump), Ann Catherine Quitoy (javelin) and Jessel Lumapas (400m).
Caminong – who was born in San Vicente, Palawan, but competed for Dasmariñas, Cavite in the national open junior division – won the high jump in a new Philippine junior mark of 1.74 meters.
A nail-biting victory in the girls’ long jump and a triumph in the girls javelin came from a high school in Western Visayas, which has served as a hub of the region’s track and field success.
Trexie dela Torre, who hung on to win the long jump by one centimeter, and javelin winner Ann Catherine Quitoy came from Romanito Maravilla High Schooin Barangay Estefania in Bacolod City.
Jessel Lumapas of General Trias, Cavite topped the girls’ 400m in 56.46 as the Philippine team surpassed its 2017 haul of 3 golds.
The wiry Dela Torre grabbed the lead in her 3rd jump of 5.84 meters, dislodging Mahidra Hanis Bhanti Ishak of Malaysia and Hong Thanh Giang of Vietnam, who had shown the way with 5.83 meters.
In the next 3 jumps, Dela Torre did not foul her attempts. Ishak leapt 5.55, fouled and then closed out with 5.78 while Giang closed out with 4.43 meters.
Quitoy hurled the javelin at 49.18 meters.
Addy Arca, the girls’ coach, said she and her brother Miguel have been coaching Romanito Maravilla High for 9 years, steadily producing a stream of good athletes. Three years ago, they also drew notice when Jerry Belibestre won the bronze in the long jump at the Asian Youth championship in Qatar. – Rappler.com
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