■ Ofelia C. Empian
Taekwondo and wushu teams from the Summer Capital are leading the charge for the city’s quest for the number one spot in the joint Batang Pinoy (BP) and Philippine National Games (PNG) in Pasig City.
In the unofficial record of the Baguio City Sports Office as of Dec. 20, city athletes bagged a combined 19 gold, 14 silver, and 28 bronze medals for both of the games slated on Dec. 18 to 22.
The city’s athletes hauled 13 gold, nine silver and 21 bronze medals in this year’s competition with the theme: “Sibol: Rise of New Athletes”.
Gold medal winners were taekwondo’s Rolym Matthew Salay, Zashter Khaine Mendoza, Joshua Aaron Erece, Matt Rejhan Lavestre, and Joey Cullalad, and Chezka Nicolette Luzadas all in the kyorugi event; and Aileen Amancio in the arnis sayaw single weapon traditional.
Also winning gold medals apiece in the BP were Alon Yuan Jucutan in archery, and judo athletes Aijen Colintas, Jan Samuel Diño, and Chloe Maskay; as well as Jan Eowyn Caruncho for the 200-meter swimming breaststroke.
In the PNG, the first who won gold was Janine Ledina of the University of Baguio in the under-20 girls javelin throw with a distance of 39.11 meters while judo’s Mark Quirimit bagged another gold in the junior’s event.
Ledina’s win was followed by wushu sanda athletes who contributed gold medals apiece: Betty Mae Kadatar Churping in the 48-kg. girls, Kirzan Faith Ayyad Collado in the 52-kg. girls, Harizz Paddison Felipe Luyo in the 52-kg. boys, and Gerico Dewayne Kiat-ong in the 80-kg. boys.
The PNG includes athletes 18 years old and above while the BP caters to athletes 17 years old and below. It also serves as the training ground for the country’s best athletes as sent by their respective local government units.
The two previous editions of the BP allowed only 15 years old and under campaigners to be included.