Athletes from the Cordillera have improved the region’s ranking at the close of the Palarong Pambansa 2023 in Marikina to ninth place with 17 gold, 17 silver, and 14 bronze medals.
The Cordillera Fearless Highlanders went up one rung higher at the Palaro held from July 29 to Aug. 5 from their previous 10th place ranking in the 2019 national games.
Contributing most to the medal haul were the taekwondo teams from the se-condary and elementary level with eight gold, eight silver, and four bronze medals.
Gold medalists in the elementary taekwondo were the poomsae team of Alexandria Daphne Aganon, Trisha Lobbonan, and Joniya Obiacoro; the mixed pair of Jheron Cristobal and Alexandria Aganon; and Trisha Lobonnan in the poomsae individual.
The secondary taekwondo gold me-dalists were the poomsae team of Acey Kiana Oglayon, Aesha Oglayon, and Khia Mae Cortez; mixed pair of Aesha Oglayon and Gabriel Ivan Inacay; poomsae team of Caleb Angelo Calde, Zeick Tacay, and Gabriel Inacay; Jun Adrian Wagtingan in the individual kyurugi; and Stephanie Agda in the kyurugi girls.
Trisha Lobbonan of Benguet State University Elementary School was declared the most valuable player in taekwondo while teammate Aesha Kiara Oglayon from Small Word Christian School Foundation bagged the MVP award in the secondary level.
The arnis team also contributed with three gold, four silver, and five bronze medals with Princess Ysabelle Jorvina contributing one gold in the individual likha anyo single weapon category and another gold in the anyo team-double identical weapon with Josela Maddawat and Grasher Lagunday, and another gold by Izy Zyrell Pobletin in the individual full contact secondary.
The Cordillera bagged one gold in boxing via Francis Jarencio in the se-condary; another gold in wrestling through Ychivan Moises in the secondary while wushu’s four gold medals were courtesy of Alexander Tagure, Jerwin Lete, Ryan Joe Bestre, and Krizan Collado.
The athletics team bagged two silver medals while the archery team contributed with three silver and one bronze medals.
In the para games, the Fearless Highlanders bagged three gold medals courtesy of the duo of Alpha Ruth Cosisi and Rovic Dulugan in the mixed double of bocce; another gold by Nathaniel Guay in the athletics 100 meters boys and one morefrom Jheralyn Malaggay in the long jump girls.
Defending champion, the National Capital Region, was the runaway champion with 214 medals, followed by Region 6-Western Visayas with 149 medals, and the Calabarzon with 161 medals. – Ofelia C. Empian