by Kristel Satumbaga
DAVAO CITY – Shoe-less runner Lheslie De Lima of Bicol Region retained her secondary girls 3000m title while Northern Mindanao’s John Mike Lera shattered the secondary boys long jump record at the start of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa at the University of Mindanao track oval here.
Running with only plasters wrapped around her feet, the 13-year-old De Lima led the pace early before pouring on the heat in the final 250 meters to win pulling in 10 minutes and 22.42 seconds for the gold medal.
Northern Mindanao’s Camila Tubiano settled for silver for the second straight year (10:32.32) while Central Luzon’s Lovely Cordovilla came in third (10:38.82).
“Kinabahan po ako pero binigay ko na lahat. Saka binilang ko na po yung ikot ko,” said De Lima, referring to last year’s stint where she ran an extra lap after some confusion from race officials. (I was nervous but I gave my best. And this time, I counted my laps.)
Lera, on the other hand, leapt to a distance of 7.39 meters on his last attempt to settle for silver behind Zamboanga Peninsula’s Algin Gomez at 7.55m in the secondary boys long jump.
But PATAFA officials recognized Lera’s performance due to wind gauge. Lera’s jump came in at the 1.70 wind reading while Gomez was at 2.8.
Wind gauge must measure below 2.0 during the jump.
Lera surpassed the 7.26m performance of Cagayan Valley’s Julian Fuentes made in 2012 in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Lera said he never expected to make a podium finish – let alone broke the tournament record – in his debut appearance. His personal best was 6.71m just two weeks ago during training.
In chess, Calabarzon’s Daniel Quizon copped the secondary boys blitz event with 6 points at the Davao Chong Hua High School.
Also sharing the podium were CARAGA’s Cemberain Muanag in elementary boys blitz and Central Visayas’ Sara Olendo in secondary girls blitz.
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