BRUNEI--Swimming maintained its amazing golden run as the Philippines represented here by Mindanao and Palawan athletes made a final-day show of force at the end of the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-Northern Territory-East Asian Friendship Games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium here Sunday
Davao City’s Fritz Jun Rodriguez emerged as the most bemedalled Filipino athletes as he added two more golds, bringing his collection to four golds and a silver in this biennial event which will be hosted by the Philippines in 2020.
“I gave it all,” said the 5-foot-9 Rodriguez, who has been recruited by NCAA powerhouse San Beda.
Rodriguez ruled the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 26.72 before helping men’s 4 x 50 medley relay beat the Northern Territory of Australia for the gold. Rodriguez’s lone silver came in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
Lora Micah Amoguis pocketed the gold in the women’s 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:35.61.
She also got the silver in the 200-meter individual medley.
Athletics also did not disappoint at the huge Stadium Negara with 400-meter winner John Lloyd Cabalo of Puerto Princesa City winning another gold in the 800 meters with personal best of 1:57.59.
The Grade 12 student at the National University frustrated Massa Syamsuddin (1:57.85) of South Sulawesi.
“I would like to thank God first and my coaches,” said Cabalo, who also got inspiration from legendary 400-meter specialist Isidro del Prado.
Del Prado now coaches the national track and field team of this tiny but rich nation.
The Philippines had a total of 12 golds, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals in the unofficial overall medal tally.
Sabah of Malaysia had 19-13-10 gold-silver-bronze count, followed by Northern Territory (14-11-7).
Philippine Sports Commissioner and chef de mission Charles Raymond Maxey congratulated Brunei for the successful hosting of the Games.
Maxey also personally met with Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Major General (ret) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok and extended his invitation to attend the 11th BIMPNT-EAGA in Davao City.
Maxey also received the BIMPNT-Eaga flag during the closing ceremonies at the Indoor Stadium attended by the competing teams and guest of honor Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Brunei’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Sports Commission is making its return to Northern Mindanao to hold the Children’s Games Marawi City today at the Mindanao State University, Lanao del Sur.
Over 500 children from Muslim, indigenous and Christian communities all over the city are set to participate in sports clinics and fun games, and promote peace and unity to the city torn by war last year.
“It was 19 months ago since the PSC first held its Children’s Games in Iligan City, at the time when Marawi City was under siege,” said PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
“And now, launching the Children’s Games today inside the city to use sports for peace and unity is such a meaningful moment for the agency.”