Wushu artist Gabriel Matthew Cua of Team Malabon and swimming Jie Angela Mikaela Talosig claimed two gold medals in their respective sports even as perennial contender Baguio City and Cebu keep up their campaign for the overall championship going in the penultimate day of the 2023 Batang Pinoy on Thursday at different venues in Manila.
The 14-year-old Cua, son of former World Wushu Championship campaigner Garry, reigns supreme in the boys 13-15 class of Dao Shu and Gun Shu Group B category of wushu at the San Antonio Community Complex in Makati City.
Over at the Teofilo Yldefonso swimming pool, the 17-year-old Talosig from South Cotabato topped the girls 800-m freestyle clocking 9:48.24 and the 200-m backstroke with a time of 2:29.61
Other winners in the third day of action in the pool are Ckryztyn Leonardo of Malaybalay girls 9-12 800m free (10:42.12), Kyla Louise Bulaga of La Union in the girls 13-15 800m free (9:40.22), Nielson Richard Navo of Cavite City in the boys 12&under 50m freestyle (27.77); Jamie Aica Summer Sy of Quezon City in the girls 12-under 50m free (29.53); Gerald Esquivel of Bulacan in the boys 13-15 50m free (25.75);
Arabella Nadeem Taguinota of Pasig City in the Girls 13-15 50m free (28.47); Albert Jose Amaro in the boys 16-17 50m free (24.53); Heather White of Paranaque in the girls 16-17 50m free (26.81); Arvin Naseem Taguinota of Pasig in the boys 12-under 200m backstroke (2:21.09);
Liv Abigail Florendo of Ilocos Sur in the girls 12 under 200m back (2:33.55); Mishael Jamesray Ajido of Mandaluyong City in the boys 13-15 200m back (2:16.24); Catherine Cruz of Mabalacat City in the girls 13-15 200m back (2:29.06); and Ivo Nikolai Enot of Davao City in the boys 16-17 200m back (2:13.00);
In a thrilling showdown for supremacy at the Batang Pinoy competition, perennial champion Baguio City and powerhouse Cebu City found themselves in a neck-and-neck battle for overall leadership on Thursday.
The competition, catering to athletes aged 17 and below, witnessed a deadlock between the two cities, boasting 17 gold medals each in the medal tally after three days of intense action on various fronts.
While Cebu City’s dominance in gymnastics, securing six gold medals, notably contributed to their standing, Baguio City once again showcased its prowess in combat sports. Baguio bagged six golds in taekwondo, four in muay thai, three in judo, and three more in archery.
Delivering the golds for Baguio City in taekwondo were Chezka Nicoletter in the Cadet Female 4th category, Joshua Aaron Erece (Kyorugi Junior Male Pinweight), and Roklyn Matthew Salay (Cadet Male First Category) on Thursday held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Baguio City’s Sports Development chairman, Gudz Jimenez, expressed optimism about securing additional gold medals, especially with pending events in taekwondo, kickboxing, and wushu scheduled for the final day.
“We are confident and hopeful that we will again emerge as overall champion. It’s always good to think positive,” said Jimenez, whose wards are also in strong contention for the top overall finish in the Philippine National Games being held simultaneously with Batang Pinoy.
“There were also gold medals that were not accounted for,” added Jimenez, looking forward to Baguio City’s fourth straight overall and the top cash prize of P5 million from the Philippine Sports Commission.
On the Cebu City front, gymnast Jazzmine Legaspi emerged as a formidable force, securing three gold medals in WAG High Performance 2 Uneven Bars, HP2 Floor Exercise, and HP2 team event.
Additionally, Cebu garnered golds in karatedo and weightlifting, with siblings Althea and Alberto Bacaro making significant contributions in their respective categories.
As Baguio and Cebu remained in a tight race, not far behind are Davao City with 16 golds, 14 silvers, and 12 bronzes in third place, Pasig (15-17-23), Mandaluyong (14-7-11), Zamboanga (14-6-4), Quezon City (13-14-17).
Baguio and Cebu, though, are expected to pull ahead with their finalists going for more victories on the final day on Friday.