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MANILA, Philippines – High jumper Leonard Grospe set a new national record, while swimmer Quendy Fernandez wrapped up her bid with a sixth gold medal on the penultimate day of the Philippine National Games on Thursday, December 21.
A national athlete, Grospe shattered the national men’s high jump record that stood for 18 years twice as he cleared 2.20 meters at the PhilSports Track Oval in Pasig.
Grospe erased the previous mark of 2.17m set in 2005 by Sean Guevara, who is incidentally his coach.
Still fighting the lingering effects of a fever he endured a week ago, Grospe broke the old mark with a 2.18m clearance on his first attempt and further raised the bar to 2.20m, hurdling it on his maiden attempt again.
With the gold firmly in the bag, the Mapua University varsity squad member tried twice but failed to clear 2.22m.
“I’m extremely happy because it had been our goal to break the record of coach Sean,” said the 6-foot-1 Grospe, who got discovered by Guevara while competing in the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association meet in 2019.
Guevara could not be any prouder.
“Of course I’m very happy for Leonard since he was able to break my record. He was able to break the psychological barrier of 2.17 meters, which he had been clearing in practice. I always believed he had it in him to do 2.20,” said a beaming Guevara.
“Records are meant to be broken. So feeling really fulfilled that he broke it. This is my legacy to the sport that has been very good to me.”
Over at the PhilSports pool, Fernandez powered the Puerto Princesa squad also composed of Maglia Jave Dignadice, Pearl June Daganio, and elder sister Cindy to victory in the women’s 18-over 4x50m freestyle relay in a time of 1:54.43 for the gold.
With six golds and one silver medal, the prolific UP Maroon swimming sensation cemented her distinction as the most bemedalled athlete of the meet organized by the Philippine Sports Commission.
“I did not expect this would happen but I am happy to have given my city of Puerto Princesa these honors with my performance,” said Fernandez, the UAAP Season 86 Swimming MVP and Rookie of the Year.
In men’s action, national team swimmer Miguel Barreto who bagged his third straight gold for Bulacan after handily winning the boys 18-over 400m freestyle with a time of 4:03.18.
“I’m just happy that we have won three golds so far and hopefully add two more tomorrow,” said Barreto, who aims to add the 200m freestyle and 50m breaststroke to his collection.
Other swimming winners on the penultimate day of the PNG included Santiago City’s Jalil Sephraim Taguinod in the boys’ 18-over 100m breaststroke (1:05.83) and Tagbilaran City’s Angel Lynn Docabo in the girls’ 18-over 100 breaststroke (1:19.95).
Pasig’s Ryann Emmanuel Suarez and Mandaluyong’s Jindsy Azze Mogia Dassion topped the boys’ and girls’ 18-over 400m butterfly events with times of 2:14.44 and 2:30.64, respectively.
National athlete June Sergio Gobotia, who won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase earlier, added his second mint with a victory in the men’s 5,000m run in 15:09.58, while female counterpart Joida Gagnao ruled the distaff side in 17:20.61. – Rappler.com