The host province asserted its dominance after scooping up seven gold medals in athletics even as Jamleth Marie Villanueva of Olongapo City added two more victories in the pool Thursday in the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games here.
Francis Marron of Umingan, Pangasinan followed up his 400-meter dash title with victories in the boys’ 13-under 400m hurdles and 4x100m relay together with double-gold winners Mark Laurence Sanguir and Paul Isaac Manibog.
Marron, a Grade 7 pupil from Umingan Central National High School, clinched his third gold in the 400m hurdles (1:06.1).
Sanguir checked in second (1:07.5) and James Galima of Candon, Ilocos Sur copped the bronze (1:07.9)
A slew of double gold medalists also helped the host province haul 28 golds in track and field on the first two days of competition.
They are Briceline Soriano (girls’ 13-under long jump and 100m dash), Rico Navarro (boys’ 13-under long jump and 1500m run), Jasmine Suniga (girls’ 14-15 long jump and 100m dash), Reuben Jacob (boys’ 13-under shotput and discus throw) and Jayson Torribio (boys’ 14-15 400m hurdles and 4x100m relay).
The spotlight, however, was focused on Leah Taltala, a 12-year-old lass from Baguio City who seized four gold medals, and her classmate Sisa Carunungan, another triple winner just like Marron.
Taltala nailed victories in the girls’ 13-under high jump, 100m hurdles, triple jump and formed a formidable quartet along with Carunungan in the 4x100m relay. Carunungan won the 1500m run and 2000m.
Villanueva, who ruled the girls’ 11-12 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly before helping her team win the 15-under 4x50m medley relay, added the 12-under 100m back and 50m fly to her collection.
She could make it seven gold medals with the 100m fly and 4x40m free scheduled today.
“I’m ready for the national championship,” said Villanueva, daughter of police Supt. Jeric Villanueva based in Camp Olivas and Subic water manager Thelma.
Villanueva clocked 1:19.80 to defeat Christian Llanne Vallejos of San Jose Del Monte (1:22.30) and Allana Sagubo of Baguio City (1:23.50) for her fifth gold medal of the games designed to discover talented athletes 15 years old and below.
Rafael Barreto snatched another gold in the pool after clocking 30.82 seconds in the boys’ 12-under 50m fly.
The 11-year-old from Guiginto, Bulacan, who earlier won the 100m free and 400m free, defeated Romeo Santos of Malolos (34.87) and Baron Kurt Bibat of San Jose Del Monte (37.23).
Over at the Capitol beach front, Manila bounced from an opening-day setback against Tarlac with a 7-0 blanking of Caloocan City and 5-0 win over Zambales in the baseball national finals.
In badminton, Jervin Dyler Carlos of Malolos City defeated Karl Angelo Ganade of Zambales, 19-21, 21-15, 21-15, to set up a clash against Pangasinan’s Gerald Culaste, a 21-12, 21-9 winner over Candon’s Jameson Garabiles.