Dumaguete — Fifteen-year-old Jerremay Rubias, stepping out of the shadows of last year’s champion and a rival who used to beat her when she was still in grade school, utilized shorter strides to claim the first gold medal at stake in the 2013 Palarong Pambansa here.
The 5’8” Rubias followed the advise of her personal coach and came up with 39.59-meter heave on her fourth attempt in the secondary girls’ javelin throw.
Her efforts helped hand the Western Visayas Region two of the three gold medals at stake at the start of the morning events of the athletics competitions at the Gov. Mariano Perdices Memorial Stadium.
John Renzy Gemolaga, a high school graduate from Cambito National High School in Iloilo City, came 35 centimeters short of the new meet record in the secondary boys’ javelin throw event with his hurl of 13.65 meters.
The golds won by Rubias and Gemolaga boosted Western Visayas’ bid to reclaim the top honors in the secondary boys’ division for a second straight year.
San Sebastian College high school standout John Resty Lorenzo leaped 6.66 meters in the secondary boys’ long jump to deliver the National Capital Region its first gold for the meet.
Rubias came two centimeters close to the 39.61-meter performance, which Evalyn Palabrica made last year. She was not able to join the Lingayen games last year because Palabrica, who is now in college, eliminated her in regional meet.
The 15-year-old Rubias, an incoming senior at Tangalan National High School in Aklan, complied with her personal mentor John Michael Ibo’s instructions to use shorter strides on her approach and a lower angle on her throw.
“Sa technique, sakto lang sa angle, at sa release, sabayan ng hip movement at maliliit na stride, said Rubias, who got past CARAGA’s Rizalyn Apos (37.89) and CAVRAA’s Jovelyn Notario (36.05).
Rubias, who almost got disqualified in the regionals because of foul throws she made due to her big strides, also managed to beat back-to-back elementary winner Gia Bucag, who beat her for the gold in 2010 with a record-breaking 40.63 meters. Bucag settled for fifth this time around.
Meanwhile, defending champion NCR will try to make its presence felt again on two fronts with eight golds at stake in the secondary and elementary divisions today at the San Lorenzo Teves Aqua Center.
University of Santo Tomas high school standout Sacho Ilustre will fight for the best podium finishes in three freestyle events and in the 200-meter butterfly, and so will San Beda-Alabang bet Catherine Bondad in the freestyle competitions of the secondary girls’ events.
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