STA. CRUZ, Laguna, Philippines – Seth Issak Martin of the National Capital Region shattered the 16-year-old record in 100-meter backstroke in a day of torrid performances in centerpiece athletics and medal-rich swimming in yesterday’s Palarong Pambansa at the Laguna Sports Complex here.
Martin, 11, clocked a minute, 7.21 seconds to erase the 1:07.56 mark another NCR bet Evan Gravador set in Bacolod City in 1998 for the worthiest performance in Day Three with five records bettered, including four in the pool.
What’s so impressive about Martin’s feat was this is the first time he has joined a competition of this level.
“Although this is my first national competition, I expected to win because I’ve really trained hard for this event,” said Martin.
Imee Joyce Saavedra of the NCR eclipsed the 200m freestyle record of 2:18.86 Catherine Bondad of Calabarzon registered in Tarlac four years back by timing in 2:16.86 in one of the seven gold medals she is targetting in the elementary girls division.
“I’m happy,” said the shy, soft-spoken Saavedra, who studied at Ateneo de Zamboanga before transferring to Diliman Preparatory School in Quezon City to train under Dennis Cordero and guidance of former Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
The 4x50m elementary medley relay team of Andrew Buchanan Gibson, Aryan Israel Anastacio, Orlando Luis Reyes and Michael Brendan Pinpin joined the record-breaking spree after checking in at 2:06.02 to re-set the 2:07.33 mark of the NCR squad three years back in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Suzanne Vernon Himor of Calabarzon was the first to post the first record of the day after she reset the 2012 record of 2:26.16 Delia Cordero of Calabarzon in Lingayen, Pangasinan set by clocking in 2:25.21 in the morning heats.
Himor didn’t break her own record in the finals but won the gold anyway when she timed in 2:25.99.
Central Luzon’s barefoot thrower Bryan Pacheco shared the limelight with the swimmers as he captured his second gold in track and field by topping the javelin throw with a 62.47-m heave, enough to improve the 57.81 record he himself posted last year in Dumaguete City.
It was the second record-breaking performance by the 17-year-old Pacheco after he ripped the shotput mark the day before.
Unlike in shotput where he totally blew away the field, Pacheco found an early challenge from Joshua Vincent Petulad of La Salle-Zobel of the NCR, who was the first to smash the record when he threw 61.46m right on his first attempt.
But Pacheco responded with that 62.47m before breaching the 60-m barrier four of his six attempts while a spent Petulad, an incoming senior, couldn’t muster the same strength and power and settled for the silver.
“Kinabahan ako kasi record agad sya kaya binuhos ko na din lakas ko (I got nervous because he broke the record early, that’s why I gave it all I got after his attempt),” said Pacheco, who is being heavily recruited by mutliple schools including Far Eastern U and Perpetual Help.
Mary Queen Ybanez of La Union of the Ilocos region emerged victorious in archery where she lorded it over the 30m and 40m events in impressive fashion.
The pair of mints was Ybanez’s gift to herself after she turned 16 last Sunday.
“It’s my birthday gift to myself,” said Ybanez.
Another double-gold medal winner emerged from secondary men’s gymnastics at the University of the Phl-Los Baños campus after John Ivan Cruz of the NCR ruled the individual all around event and anchoring his squad of John Gwynn Timbang and Patrick Poquiz to the team event triumph.
Murice Sacho Illustre splashed her way to a couple of golden swims with triumphs in the secondary 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly to become the first double-gold winner in swimming.
Joemarson Rey Abodadi of Cordillera Administrative Region emerged a double-gold medallist in arnis by capturing mints in anyo individual event single and double weapon.