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5 golds for Batnag

Baguio swimmer adds 100m fly, 200m IM.

TAGUM, Davao del Norte – Maenard Batnag of Baguio City was blazing hot on the pool while sprinter Samantha Limos of Cebu City left her foes huffing and puffing as the 2016 Batang Pinoy National Championships enters the homestretch at the DavNor Sports and Tourism Complex.

Batnag became the sportsfest’ biggest winner with five gold medals as the 12-year-old ruled the 12-under 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley to add to his previous collection of victories in the 100m and 200m back and 100m free.

Clocking one minute and 6.76 seconds in the 100m fly, Batnag beat Andre Geronimo of Tanauan City (1;09.59) and Leonardo Dalman of Dipolog City (1:09.86).

Later in the day, Batnag, a Grade 7 student at Baguio National High School, proved too fast in the 200m IM, winning by seven seconds (2:31.08) over Jake Ellis Evangelista of Batangas City (2:38.11) and Philip Miguel Mendoza of Laguna (2:38.53).

Batnag’s first choice as a sport wasn’t actually swimming, telling Manila-based scribes that he simply wanted to lose weight as he was ballooning at an alarming rate at age nine.

Almost matching Batnag’s harvest of five golds was Paul Christian Anor of Baganga, Davao Orienttal, who prevailed in the 13-17 200m back, 100m free, 100m back and the 50m back.

While Batnag was lording it over in the pool, defending champon Limos, 14-year-old veteran of the first Children of Asia (COA) sportsfest in Yakutsk, Russia, last July, nearly shattered the record in the 13-15 years old 100m dash.

Limos finished the race in just 12.41 seconds but since it was wind-assisted, race officials ruled it out. She also holds the existing Batang Pinoy record of 12.48, which she posted last year in her native Cebu.

An eight-grader fro the University of Cebu, Limos, who got the bronze in the COA also in the century, shoots for another gold when she competes in the 200m.

Limos is also entered in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay and was extremely delighted for repeating as champion in the 100m.

“It was fulfilling to win again and I am happy that I reached my goal,” said Limos.

Also scoring winning moments in athletics include Jan Mervin Francisco of Dasmariñas, Cavite (boys’ 13-15 javelin), Tyronne Exequiel Flores of Dasmariñas, Cavite (boys’ 16-17 discus throw), Bago City’s Maryland Torres (girls’ 16-17 discus throw), Cebu City’s Set Abram Pilapil (boys’ 16-17 100m) and Eliza Cuyom of Dasmariñas, Cavite (girls’ 16-17 100m).

Defending 100m boys 13-15 champion Veruel Verdadero of Dasmarinas City, Cavite retained his title with a 10.95 showing against Iloilo’s Vince Buhayan of (11.43) and Aklan’s Ponce Juenz Cabungcal (11.54).

Aklan’s Sheila Talia captured the long jump girls 16-17, South Cotabato’s Marizel Buer ruled the javelin throw girls 13-15 and Bulacan’s Vincent Vianmar Dela Cruz 2000m walk for boys 13-15.

Cebu City’s Mary Nicole Maurin, Lee Robiegayle Navales, Johann Concepcion and Nohea Dela Fuente bagged two golds each while Baguio’s Justin Kobe Macario (cadet indv. male), Laeila Simoune Soria (cadet indv. female) and Stephen Marcus Bamba (junior indv. male) ruled their events in poomsae.

There are still finals matches to be held in the last two days of competitions.