Bondad fires off campaign with 400m freestyle gold

On day 1 of Palarong Pambansa swimming finals, Catherine Bondad, a two-time Palarong Pambansa Outstanding Athlete, gets her first win

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan – Two-time Palarong Pambansa Outstanding Athlete Catherine Bondad kicked off her high school career with aplomb, topping the 400m freestyle in the 2012 swimming competitions at the Dagupan Poolsite here.

Bondad, who ruled the elementary division in her grade school years, zoomed early and never looked back in finishing the race at 4:47.19 in the first of seven events she is joining this year.

Okay naman po (It was okay),” Bondad said of her performance. “Medyo na-pressure din po na mag-perform ng maayos (There was some pressure on me to perform).”

The 13-year-old San Beda College-Alabang standout aims to duplicate her record of seven golds won in the 2011 Palaro here and got off to a right start and outpacing Erika Lukang of CALABARZON (4:57.15) and teammate Priscilla Aquino (4:59.11)

Axel Ngui made it a twinkill for the Big City swimmers in the secondary division after ruling the 400m freestyle for boys with a time of 4:19.02.

Ngui was in a different class by himself, treading the waters fast enough to leave Dexter Lacuna of Central Luzon (4:38.26) and Omar Dacera of Region XII (4:38.60) biting the dust.

Meanwhile, CALABARZON reigned in the elementary division as Jose Mari Arcilla and Nicole Pamintuan topped the 200m freestyle for boys and girls, respectively.

Arcilla clocked in at 2:12.60 to fend off Maurice Ilustre of NCR (2:16.76) and Rafael Barreto of Central Luzon (2:17.77)

On the other hand, Pamintuan (2:22.64) edged out NCR bets Carmen Matabuena (2:23.71) and Raissa Gavino (2:25.66) in an exciting windup. –