April 14, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

Baguio City bagged 34 gold, 41 silver and 48 bronze medals propelling it to third place in the recently concluded Philippine National Games held in Pasig City from Dec. 17 to 22.

The city athletes went head-to-head with Mandaluyong athletes finishing with 35-42-39 medals to settle for second place, while Pasig City is this year’s champion with 42-38-47 medals.

Baguio’s first gold medal was courtesy of University of Baguio’s Janine Ledina in the under 20 girls javelin throw with a distance of 39.11 meters while Arniel Ferrera, Angel Saysay, and Hassan Loraña also bagged gold medals in the athletics event.

Also contributing gold medals were Mark Quirimit in judo; wushu sanda athletes Betty Mae Churping, Kirzan Collado, Harizz Luyo, and Gerico Kiat-ong, all getting one gold medal apiece; and Angelyn Datuin in arnis.

Other combative athletes who struck gold medals were Zyra Bon-as, Melver Paran, Renson Cornel, and Neil Gaerlan in the kickboxing; consistent medalist Rama Chandra Liporada, Realis Tabiando and Alexander Ogoy in taekwondo; and wrestling athletes Meg Griffith Guinyawan, Ellerson Langaoan, and Xavier Villanueva in their respective categories.

In the inaugural breaking competition for PNG, Michelle Dysangco won silver in the B-girl event while Karl Alexandre Bugaoan bagged the bronze in the b-boy event.  

City Sports Coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said the city’s athletes showed their mettle during the event despite some mishaps such as long hours of waiting for their respective sporting events due to the overwhelming number of participants. 

The PNG was simultaneously staged alongside its counterpart Batang Pinoy for athletes ages 17 years old and below in Pasig City gathering all young athletes representing their respective local government units.

The two sporting events also acts as the training ground for the country’s cream of the crop athletes, as well as a qualifying event for the country’s pool of athletes for international events. The two previous editions of the Batang Pinoy allowed only 15 years old and under campaigners to be included.

Gonzales said the city athletes will be receiving their sports incentives based on the Sports Incentives Ordinance.  

Baguio City slid to third place from its second-place finish in the 2018 edition of the national games garnering 38 gold, 37 silver and 59 bronze medals.

This year, Cebu landed as the overall champion with 48 gold, 69 silver, 79 bronze medal tally.