PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan—Aubrey Tom of Cainta, Rizal made a big splash early by scooping up three gold medals at the pool even as Marc Angelo Daroy of Aklan emerged the fastest boy at the track by topping the 100-meter dash in the National Finals of the Batang Pinoy at the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex here yesterday.
Tom, 12, didn’t waste time and swam her way to three gold medals in the 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke for girls 12 years old and under in just about an hour that keep her on pace of snaring five mints and a possible spot to the national team seeing action in the Children of Asia Games in Russia next year.
The seventh-grader from International Learning Academy clocked two minutes and 32.30 seconds in reigning supreme in the 200m IM while he checked in 1:03.57 and 35.55 for goldens swims in the 100m free and 50m back, respectively.
“I hope to win more golds,” said Tom, who is scheduled to swim in the 50m butterfly and 50m free in the next few days.
Daroy, 14, did the improbable at the track and pulled the rug from under his more illustrious foes in reigning supreme in the century dash in 11.4 seconds ahead of Pasig City’s John Dave Magtangov and Pangasinan’s Justine Angelo Munoz, who took the silver and bronze in 11.6 and 11.7.
It was a surprising finish for Daroy, who hails from New Washington which is a third-class municipality of Aklan, after qualifying here as a fifth-placer in the Visayas Leg in Iloilo City early in the year to a best of the best in this multi-sports event for in and out-of-school athletes aged 15 and below.
“I just want to be successful and help my family get out of poverty,” said a teary-eyed Daroy, whose father Anthony is a fisherman and mother Maytre a housewife.
Krisha Aguillon of Negros Occidental, for her part, became the fastest girl after copping the 100m mint in 12.7.
Barefoot wonder Lheslie de Lima of Camarines Sur stole some of the spotlight as she came out the first gold winner in the girls’ 800m where she timed in 2:22.5, besting Laguna’s Magvrylle Matchino (2:25.0) and Pangasinan’s Ana Eugenio (2:28.3).
The 14-year-old de Lima may have hurt her leg after coming into the games without training for a whole month after she decided to focus more on her studies.
“I temporarily stopped training because I want to stay an honor student. My sacrifices paid off,” said the Grade Eight student of Baao National High School, a multiple gold medal winner in the Palarong Pambansa.
Also making heads turn in centerpiece athletics were Don Gabriel Villa of Dasmarinas, Cavite, who snared the boys’ discus throw gold in 39.65m, and Bago City’s Kate Martinez, who captured the girls’ disc mint in 33.53m.
Other swimming winners were Cotabato’s Isidore Warain (200m IM) and John Alexander Talosig (200m IM), Davao City’s Lora Micah Amoguis (200m IM) and Pietro Dominic Requiza (100m free), Quezon City’s Arbeen Miguel Thruelen (100m free), Lipa City’s Gillyn Rafaella Gonzalvo (100m free), Paranaque’s Mark Bryan Dula (50m back) and Laguna’s John Alagon (50m back).