by Kristel Satumbaga
ILAGAN, Isabela – Mariel Abuan gave the country its second gold by topping the girls high jump while Thailand continued to dominate the 14th Southeast Asian Youth Athletics Championships Sunday at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex here.
The 5-foot Abuan debuted in the international scene with a personal best of 1.65 meters to edge out Vietnamese foes Thanh Vy Nguyen (1.61m) and Quynh Giang Pham (1.58m).
Making her victory more impressive was that she made it on her first attempt although she tried to beat her record but failed.
“Napagod na rin po (I was tired already),” said Abuan, who was part of the PH side that finished third in the 4x400m relay late Saturday.
The other members of the team were Princes Jean Nalzaro, Charlaine De Ocampo and Tara Borlain.
Still, the 14-year-old Zambales was overjoyed with her performance, adding that she did not expect to win a gold.
First to produce a gold for the PH was pole vaulter Ma. Khrizzie Clarisse Ruzol who beat Jessa Libres in a face-off between the two PH entries.
Tina Rosete got a silver medal in the hammer throw despite being outclassed by her only other rival Indonesian Natasya Mahdalita.
The Indonesian threw the iron ball to a distance of 47.78m as against 26.83 of Rosete.
Abuan and Rosete’s medal feats were the only bright light so far for Team PH as the rest were beaten by their much stronger opponents.
Jason Jabol, who stood out in the Batang Pinoy Nationals last year, settled only for fourth in the boys 200m with 23.04 seconds that saw Singapore’s Rainer Lee Siong En dominating the field in 21.61sec.
Jan Rey Gallano almost made it to the podium of the 400m, but was later edged out by Thai Sanuthit Somvong.
Jeshrelvan Ombid ended fifth and last in the boys 1500m with 4:29.58 – 23 seconds slower than Vietnamese champion Van Huy Nguyen (4:06.43) while Borlain was also beaten for the bronze in the same distance.
Charlaine De Ocampo (26.81sec) and Samantha Limos (26.83sec) were sixth and seventh in the girls 200m, while the 4x100m mixed relay team of Jabol, Limos, Nalzaro and MJ Jaminillo also settled fifth and last in 46.84sec.
Rex Amamangpang (13.09m), Francis Castulo (12.21m) and Manuel Banatao Jr. (12.12m) fell at sixth to last places in boys triple jump where Malaysia’s Alvin Roland snared the gold in 14.60m.
So far, the PH team has two gold, three silver and seven bronze medals with 10 events being competed at press time.
Thailand continued to dominate the field with 10 golds, followed by Vietnam with six golds and Malaysia with four golds.