By REYNALD MAGALLON
ILAGAN CITY – National record holder Sarah Dequinan became the first double-gold medal winner in the open elite category in the ICSTI Philippine Athletics Championship after another impressive win at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex here.
A day after the 2019 Southeast Asian Games medalist stamped her class against her lone competitor in her pet event, heptathlon, for her first gold, Dequinan topped the women’s long jump event on Friday, March 24.
She leapt to a distance of 5.79 meters to beat Diana Hurano of Bohol (5.54m) and Acbd Agamos of City (5.30m) who placed second and third respectively
Interestingly, Dequinan showed no signs of fatigue whatsoever as she even juggled playing in the two events that were being held simultaneously in under the burning summer heat.
She completed her first two jumps and skipped the third to join the javelin throw before returning for his fourth jump to wrap up her show.
She was, however, denied of a third gold medal after settling for silver in the javelin throw with a heave of 42.41 meters.
Eager to improve more in heptathlon after resetting the Philippine record twice – first in the 2019 SEA games and the latest in the 2021 biennial meet where she recorded a national best 5381 points, Dequinan explained that she joined the long jump and javelin throw to keep her competitive juices flowing.
“Better po siya kasi marami po akong kalaban parang nakaka-excite po hindi kagaya kahapon na dalawa lang kami so parang kalaban mo lang yun sarili mo. ngayon po kasi ang saya kasi madami,” said Dequinan.
“Hepta po kasi ang main event ko eto po kasi parang enjoyment na lang po, dagdag sa training so alam ko po yung weakness ko so kailangan ko siyang trabahuin ko po,” added the Valencia, Bukidnon native, who ruled the heptathlon event by amassing 5220 points against lone competitor Eng May Xin of Malaysia (4028).
Meanwhile, Evalyn Palabrica, who was dropped from the national team despite a bronze medal finish in the last edition of SEA games, continued to prove her worth after reigning supreme in the javelin throw with 45.92 meters.
It was, however, short of the 50.26m she recorded during the PATAFA SEA Games trials that allowed her to get reinstated to the national team. Lanie Carpentero came in third with 40.99m.
Also claiming his second gold was Albert Mantua, who ruled men’s discus throw with 48.83m. He also finished silver in shotput with 16.93m.
Umajesty Williams, meanwhile, plucked his second medal after settling for silver in the 200m with a time of 21.40 despite a hamstring injury.
In men’s long jump, national athlete John Mike Lera nabbed the gold after recording 7.30m – way, way ahead of Ronie Juntilla (5.92m) and bronze winner Primo Lopez (5.89m).