Philippine Arnis Competition and Gold Medals

Two Iloilo Province arnisadors displayed grace and snap to snare two gold medals in forms even as national team members Marion Kim Mangrobang and Nikko Brian Huelgas repeated as triathlon champs Saturday in the POC-PSC National Games here.

Eighteen-year-old Glory Joy Bartonico and Warlie Gumban led Iloilo to twin victories after ruling the women’s individual single weapon anyoand men’s individual double weapon anyo categories in arnis at the Cosca Gym.

Bartonico, who was fourth placer in the same event last year, bared that she just completed her routine the day before and was very surprised that she earned the judges’ nod, beating Reignerose Esguerra of Pasig and Claire Danga-as of Baguio City, who wound up second and third, respectively.

Centerpiece event track and field blasts off at the Perdices Sports Complex starting on Monday as action heats up in this tournament, organized by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission and sponsored by Smart Communications, Summit Mineral Water, Standard Insurance, TV5, AKTV, 2Go, Cebu Pacific, Accel, Pocari Sweat, Scratch It Instant Tama, SM and Puregold, with 14 gold medals to be disputed including women’s 10,000m, women’s shot put, women’s high jump and girls discus throw.

“It’s unexpected, I haven’t even taken my breakfast yet,” said the bubbly Bartonico, an incoming sophomore at the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology taking up Education-Math.

She also ran away with a bronze in the women’s double weapon behind gold medalist Nina Allona Gae Tabor of Cagayan de Oro and silver winner Danga-as. Raymart Gutierrez of Baguio and John Franklin Dresser of CDO placed second and third behind Gumban.

Clad in indigenous Igorot costume, Elmer Batani of Baguio City delighted the judges to the men’s single weapon anyo gold medal, besting Ric Marcelino of CDO and Kieser Juanga of Iloilo. Batani, 20, is an education student at the University of Baguio and was part of the team that clinched the gold last year in Bacolod.

Over at Sipalay City some 200 kilometers from here, Mangrobang and Huelgas cruised to victory through the scenic beaches and a mountainous views of what is considered the jewel of the sugar island of Negros Oriental.

Racing under the banner of Las Pinas, Huelgas, 21, clocked two hours, three minutes and 46 seconds to cover the standard distance of 1.5 kilometers of swimming, 40k of biking and 10k of running, finishing way ahead of Jonard Saim of Gen. Santos City (2:17:34) and John Chicano of Olongapo (2:29:26).

Mangrobang, from Sta. Rosa, Laguna, dominated the women’s side with a time of 2:26:43. The 21-year-old PH team member prides herself for capturing the Mekong Duathlon crown and finishing second in the Mekong Triathlon held consecutively in Thailand in 2009.

Mirasol Abad of Davao placed second at 2:36:17, while Alexandra Ganzon of Iloilo came third with 2:44:36 time.

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