Brunei—Team Mindanao-Philippines opened its 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friendship Games’ stint on a high note by bagging two gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes in the morning session of the swimming competition here at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.
Joshua Raphael del Rio, a student of the Ateneo de Davao University, timed two minutes and 3.95 seconds in men’s 21-under 200-meter freestyle to beat teammate Eirron Seth Vibar (2:04.00) and Brunei Team A’s Nur Samil (2:05.93).
San Beda University’s Fritz Jun Rodriguez gave Team Mindanao-PH its second gold after topping the men’s 21-under 50-meter breastroke with a time of 31.22 seconds. Darren Ngui Moh Gin of Sarawak, Malaysia (31.86) was second and Edward Alfaro III of Mindanao-PH(31.98) third.
In men’s 21-under 100-meter backstroke, Ivo Nikolai Enot (1:05.75) and Elson Jake Rodriguez (1:05.79) finished second and third, respectively, as Ben Ramplin (1:05.22) of Nothern Territory, Australia captured the gold medal.
Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, chef-de-mission of the Philippines, cheered at the sidelines along with Davao City head of delegation Sports Development Division of the City Mayor’s Office officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera.
“This is a good start for us and I’m happy for our athletes. They competed well. Hopefully we can win more medals,” said Maxey, who was also seen comforting some swimmers who failed to land podium finishes. “I don’t want to put pressure on them. I just told them to give it their best and enjoy.”
Meanwhile, the Games’ formal opening ceremony is set at 8:45 a.m. today, featuring a parade of delegations from Indonesia’s focus areas Kalimantan Utara, Sulawesi Barat and Sulawesi Selatan; Malaysia’s Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan; Philippines’ Mindanao and Palawan, Australia’s Northern Territory and Brunei Darussalam.
Brunei’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan will declare the Games open while BIMPNT-Eaga Sports Council Chairman Datok Jufri Rahman and 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friendship Games organizing committee chairman Datin Paduka Dr. Hajah Norlila will give their respective messages.
Athletics, taekwondo and wushu competitions will also kick off today while karatedo is set tomorrow.