First timer wins gold, silver for Central Luzon in Athletics

Danielle Nakpil
First timer wins gold, silver for Central Luzon in Athletics
Martin Esteban did not take athletics seriously until he decided he wanted to join Palarong Pambansa

LAGUNA, Philippines – Central Luzon’s pride and first-time Palarong Pambansa participant Martin James Esteban impressively bagged the gold and silver medals in the men’s secondary triple jump and long jump categories respectively at the Laguna Sports Complex track and field oval, May 4.

Esteban was given recognition together with other 2014 Palarong Pambansa Athletics winners this afternoon, May 6, at the same venue.

Taking it to heart

The lanky Pampanga native told Rappler he didn’t take the sport seriously when he first played in the fourth grade. However, just last year, Esteban realized he wanted to take his game to the next level.

“Noong una po, nilalaro-laro ko lang. Pero nung gusto ko na pong sumali sa Palaro, nagseryoso na ako,” he said.
(At first, I didn’t take it seriously. But when I realized I wanted to join the Palarong Pambansa, I started taking it to heart.)

Esteban registered 6.70 meters in his long jump event, making him land to second place next to Jose Jerry Belibeistre of Western Visayas.

The next day however, the 16-year-old neophyte proved that someone doesn’t have to be a Palaro veteran to win a title as he clinched the first gold medal of his entire sports career in the men’s secondary triple jump category, recording 14.31 meters, only 0.6 meters ahead of Northern Mindanao’s Kirk Bacas.

Sticking to the plan

When asked of how he managed to best all 65 competitors all in all in the two events, Esteban shares it is all because of being faithful to the game plan his coach taught him from day one.

“Sa tingin ko po, nanalo ako kasi may disiplina po ako tsaka sinusunod ko po lahat ng trainings namin,” the Balitucan National High School student said.
(I think I won because I have self-discipline and I follow everything I learn from our trainings.)

Having long limbs and standing 6-foot-1, Esteban had a clear advantage over the other participants. But the soft-spoken boy thinks otherwise.

“Hindi naman po sa height. Sa presence of mind po ‘yan, sa lakas, tsaka sa disiplina.”
(It is not about the height but it’s about presence of mind, strength, and discipline.)

Drawing inspiration from family and friends

Aside from training relentlessly everyday, Esteban draws inspiration from people who back him up every step of the way.

“Una, nag pray ako kay God. Ginagawa kong inspirasyon yung pamilya ko, coaches ko, tsaka yung mga sumusuporta sa akin,” he told Rappler.
(First, I prayed to God. Then I made my family my inspiration as well as my coaches and everyone who supports me.) –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.