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Dela Pisa, cancer survivor, dazzles

BY KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

 

LAST YEAR, all Daniela Dela Pisa, a cancer survivor, wanted was to be a part of the national team. Because of sheer talent, she made it to the team.

Dela Pisa is now Southeast Asian Games gold medal winner.

Daniela Dela Pisa wows the crowd with her near-flawless performance. Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II)

Daniela Dela Pisa wows the crowd with her near-flawless performance. Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II)

Two days after Carlos Yulo shone in the men’s artistic gymnastics, Dela Pisa grabbed the spotlight on Saturday after copping one gold and two bronze medals in the rhythmic gymnastics at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The 15-year-old Palarong Pambansa standout topped the hoops event with 17.750 points, edging Malaysians Izzah Amzan (16.500) and Amy Dict Weg Kwan (15.900).

The Cebuano native followed it up with bronze finishes in balls (15.600) and clubs (16.100).

Dela Pisa was the first Filipino rhythmic gymnast to win a SEAG gold since Maria Victoria Alicia Jacinto collected three gold medals in the 2011 Palembang edition.

She credited her three-month training in Hungary under Hungarian coach Dora Vass for her gold medal show.

“Training at hard work lang po,” said Dela Pisa, admitting that she was surprised of her podium finishes since it was her first SEA Games appearance.

Coming from a family of gymnasts that include mom Darlene and uncle Allen Castañeda, a national team coach for men’s artistic gymnastics, Dela Pisa entered the sport when she was three years old.

She battled Stage II ovarian cancer when she was four, yet still pursued the sport with dreams of making into the national team.

“Balik po ulit ako ng Hungary sa January. Tuluy-tuloy lang po ulit training,” she said.

 

 

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