MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American Jean Nathan Monteclaro and Krista Onofre bagged the men’s and women’s all-around gold medals, respectively, in the artistic gymnastics competitions of the POC-PSC Philippine National Games at the GAP gym inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Friday.
With twin brother Christian ailing with a torn right bicep, Jean Nathan engaged in a duel with fellow Fil-Am gymnast Brandon Judalang en route to ruling the all-around men’s gymnastics competition with 76.36 points, thanks to high marks in the floor exercise (13.50), vault (13.35) and rings (13.40).
Judalang, 20, had his best showing in the vault (13.35) and totaled 71.60 points in copping the silver in his PNG debut in the six-apparatus event while Reyland Capellan (68.6) the bronze in the event organized by the PSC and the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP).
In a field reduced to only two entries, Onofre tallied 31.25 points in the four-apparatus event (floor exercise, vault, balance beam and uneven bars) for the gold while Maria Antonio (35.5) had silver in the competition sponsored by Ayala Corp., Summit, Bala Energy Drink and Procter and Gamble.
“It was a bit sad that Christian could not compete in the all-around because of his injury. But Brandon put up a good fight,” Jean Nathan, 23, an economics student at the University of California-Berkeley, said.
Sharing the spotlight was another Fil-Am, Anna Verdeflor, who was the runaway champion in the girls’ all-around even with 50.75 points while Rachel Arellano was a distant second (41.7) and Sophia Gonzales third (37.375) in the tourney also backed by Procter and Gamble, Tea Monkey and Standard Insurance Corp.
“I’m pleased with my performance and hopefully I can compete for our national senior team someday,” said Verdeflor, 14, who was born in Tarlac City and whose family is now based in Allen, Dallas-Fortworth, Texas.
Underscoring Verdeflor’s dominance was her score in the difficult uneven bars with 12.20 points, more than four points better than runner-up Silverio’s 7.625.
But Verdeflor would not be able to compete in the vault of the individual apparatus competitions which began yesterday since she skipped one of the required vault apparatus in the all-around the other day.
Muntinlupa’s Rafael Ablaza, a mainstay of the Philippine Gymnastics and Athletics Academy owned by former national coach Butch Ty, topped the boys all-around with 59.925 points, narrowly beating newly-crowned Palaro high school champion Caloy Yulo who took the silver (59.00). Allen Christopher Lim secured the bronze (58.350).