Batang Pinoy qualifier Gatinga, Nabong haul 5 golds

By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star)

Posted at Sep 20 2012 10:16 AM | Updated as of Sep 20 2012 06:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Taguig City’s Gianeli Gatinga ruled the 200m dash to complete a sprint double for a five-gold medal haul in the Batang Pinoy National Capital Region qualifying leg at the wet Marikina Sports Center in Marikina yesterday.

Gatinga, 12, clocked 29 seconds in topping the other half of the sprint event then later teamed up with Sofea Diaz, Daisy Salimbakod and Marisol Amarga to top the 4x400m relay in four minutes, 33.9 seconds to hike her gold-medal take to five.

The five-foot seventh grader from St. Francis of Assisi also reigned in long jump, 100m and 4x100m relay Tuesday. “My goal is to win here and make it to the National Finals and I’m glad I achieved both,” said Gatinga.

Vincent Nabong matched Gatinga’s five-gold feat as the 14-year-old Manila bet captured the 800m gold in 2:06.9 then joined forces with Venz Pena Christopher Canilang and Resty Lorenzo to rule the 4x400m relay in 3:57.5.

Nabong also won the 5,000m run for 15-under boys and followed it up with victories in the 1,500m and 4x100m relay Tuesday.

The San Sebastian high school sophomore’s pair of golds also booked him a place in the national finals in Iloilo City from Dec. 5-8.

“It’s really what I aspired for,” said Nabong, a gold medal winner in the 3,000m and silver medalist in 1,500m in the finals in Naga City last year and a triple gold winner in the NCR qualifiers at the University of Makati field also a year ago.

Also helping fuel the Big City’s surge was Dexter Pascua, who followed up his conquest of the shot put event the day before by picking up his second gold in the discus throw where he heave 24.75m.

Manila’s other golden winners were Angelica Datohan (girls 13-under 2,000m), John Louie Nilugao (boys 13-under 2,000m), Christoper Canila (boys 15-under 400m hurdles), Juvilyn Perlas (girls 15-under 2,000m walk), Athena Bianca Alefante (girls 15-under triple jump) and Wenie Carozca (girls 15-under javelin throw).

Meanwhile, PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez attributed the low turnout of athletes this year to several factors, saying: “Some schools were concerned of their students missing classes considering the several cancellations due to bad weather.’’

“But on the brighter note, what we have now are those who are serious in their sports programs like Taguig, Manila, and even Marikina,’’ said Gomez, head of the Batang Pinoy organizing committee.

The Marikina boys beat Pasig City which timed 55 seconds, and Quezon City (one minute, 1.1 seconds).

Rizeille Grace dela Paz, Michelle Felix Ann Cocson, Paula Mae Bardaje and Kayla Rya Alonsagay also won the gold in girls 14-under 4X100 with a time of 56.5 seconds, besting Manila (57 seconds) and Caloocan City (59.6 seconds).

Sayenga added the relay gold to his earlier victory in high jump, while Vargas topped the 400m with a time of 1:00.9. Also winning for the hometown bets were Jamie Immanuel Mejia in boys 15-under 110m hurdles and Sayo in boys 13-under 1,500m.