PH archer makes history, wins gold in Youth Olympics team event

NANJING, China – Young Filipino archer Gabriel Moreno made history on Sunday, August 24, as he won a gold medal in the mixed team event of archery in the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The 16-year-old teamed up with Chinese archer Li Jiaman and beat Cynthia Freywald (Germany) and Mohamad Zolkepeli (Malaysia) with a total score of 113-105.

This is the first time the Philippines won a gold medal in an Olympic event. The last time the Philippines placed a medal in an international Olympic event was in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won a silver medal.

Moreno earlier said that he was hopeful for a gold medal given the effort he has put in in his training.

“I want to make my country proud. I want to give the Philippine my very best,” Moreno said.

Fellow archer Bianca Gotuaco was eliminated in the elimination round of the women’s individual event on Saturday, August 23. She competed in the mixed team event with Prennoy Murong (Bangladesh) but got eliminated Friday, August 22.

GOLDEN BOY. Archer Gabriel Moreno won the Philippines' first ever Olympic gold medal. Photo from Moreno

GOLDEN BOY. Archer Gabriel Moreno won the Philippines' first ever Olympic gold medal.

Photo from Moreno

Moreno started archery when he was 6 years old. At the age of 12, he competed in his first international archery event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His medals have been piling up since then.

In 2013, Moreno bested other Filipino archers in the Philippine National Games and Palarong Pambansa (National Youth Olympic Event). In the same year, he and fellow YOG delegate Bianca Gotuaco qualified in the Nanjing YOG after winning in the Taipei qualifiers.

Moreno was also the country’s flag-bearer during the Games’ opening ceremonies on August 16.

The Nanjing YOG will run until Thursday, August 28. –  Rappler.com

Editor's note: Title changed to specify that the gold medal was won in the Youth Olympics, which, like the Summer and Winter Games, is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) organized event.