BANTAY, Ilocos Sur—Multi-titled sprinter Veruel Verdadero of Calabarzon began his quest for dominance on a bright note as he topped the 100-meter heats in record-breaking fashion Monday in the opening events of the 2018 Palarong Pambansa here.
As the 16-year-old Verdadero dominated the heats in 10.65 seconds, barefooted middle distance runner Lheslie de Lima of the Bicol Region took home the first gold medal at stake for the day in the 3,000-meters at the Quirino Stadium here.
Verdadero, who won five gold medals in the secondary boys’ action last year, finished ahead of Region II’s David Granadoso, with his hand-timed clocking surpassing the 10-.74 performance of Socsargen bet Feberoy Kasi two years ago.
He opened his quest for glory on a day the National Capital Region and Cagayan Valley scooped up two gold medals each and took the early lead.
“Nahirapan ako, kasi tumaba ako. Nahirapan ako kasi masikip ang damit ko. Pinasok ko na lang time ko,” said Verdadero, a 10th grader from Emilio Aguinaldo College in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
He qualified for the finals, with Granadoso coming in second in their heat in 10.94 seconds. Another rival, Vince Buhayan of Region 2 clocked 10.81 seconds in a separate heat.
More podium finishes are at stake for Verdadero as he is also entered in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter run, the 100-meter and 200-meter relays.
The13-year-old De Lima, who won her first crown in the secondary girls’ division, chose to run on her bare feet and crossed the finish line ahead of Northern Mindanao’s Camila Tubiano in 10 minutes and 6.54 seconds. Both never stopped for another 400 meters until they were told that the final bell had already sounded.
“Hindi ko narinig ang bell. Umikot pa ako. Kasi nakikita ko pa siya,” said De Lima, an eighth grader from Baao National High School.
Tubiano took the silver after ending up eight seconds behind De Lima.
Sakya High School student Christian Ampong gave NCR its first gold in the secondary boys’ javelin throw in 58.51 meters, with Region IV-B’s John Paul Sarmiento taking the silver in 53.87 meters.
Adrian Samudio snared the Big City athletes’ second gold, this time after he topped the elementary boys’ triple jump in 11.46 meters, with Gerevil Gacita of Region VI in second.
Cagayan Valley got off to the great start as well, with Algin Gomez clearing 6.96 meters twice for the secondary boys’ triple jump honors, with Region IV-B’s John Paul Sarmiento settling for the silver (53.87 meters).
Rashied Faith Burdeos heaved 10.13 meters in the elementary girls’ shotput, for Cagayan’s second gold.,