The talent of twelve-year-old Gianeli Gatinga of Taguig City shone bright on a rainy morning when she captured two gold medals Tuesday in track and field even as Team Quezon City went full steam ahead with a pair of swimming dynamo in the POC-PSC Batang Pinoy 2012 at the Marikina Sports Complex.
Gatinga, a shy, pony-tailed 7th grader at St. Francis of Assisi, crowned herself the fastest girl in the 13-under 100-meter dash before leaping for another gold in the long jump.
The 5-foot Gianeli clocked 13 seconds flat in the century dash, and covered a distance of 4.5 meters in long jump for her golden double. She is expected to compete in relays, 200-meter run and triple jump in the next days.
“I’m happy to compete in my first Batang Pinoy,” said Gatinga who won silver in the relay and bronze in long jump during the Palarong Pambansa in Pangasinan early this year.
But the distinction of harvesting most golds of the day belonged to QC’s Raissa Regata Gavino and Kirsten Chloe Daos who captured three golds each.
Gavino triumphed in the girls 12-under 400m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, while Daos won in girls 15-under 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle. They then shared the gold with two other teammates in 15-under 4X50m medley relay.
Manila bet Vicente Nabong snared the first gold of the competition with a victory in the boys 15-under 5,000-meter run. The 14-year-old Nabong, a high school sophomore from San Sebastian, timed 19:00.3 seconds.
“I’m determined to get better and better every year,” said Nabong in Filipino who netted gold in 3,000m and silver in 1,500m run in last year’s national finals held in Naga City.
Host Marikina City used their familiarity with the home turf that went slippery as the rains fell by lunchtime when its tracksters stormed with five gold medals.
Turning in golden performances for Marikina were Jasper Aldrian Navoa in boys 15-under shot put, Joanna Mae Icaranom in girls 13-under 2,000m walk, Lierence Sayenga in boys 13-under long jump, Rizelle dela Paz in girls 15-under 400m dash and Jamie Immanuel Mejia in boys 15-under 400m dash.
Also sharing the spotlight in the first day of competition was 15-year-old Mariane Audrey Yorac of Pasig City who held sway in the girls 15-under high jump as a senior at Rizal High School.
Yorac’s teammate Emmanuel Gutierrez and Erica Corag followed suit with triumphs in their respective events.