Palarong Pambansa 2015: Breaking records, hearts

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TAGUM CITY (CNN Philippines) — The 58th Palarong Pambansa held here at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City has so far recorded 17 record-breaking feats, mostly in swimming and athletics — including one by a swimmer from the Davao Region.

But for the Palaro host, the record-breaking feat is not enough to compensate for the lackluster performance of its delegates in this year's Palaro. The Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) was aiming for top five in this year's national meet, hoping the homecourt advantage would conjure magic.

Also read: Davao del Norte governor promises grand closing for Palaro

But until Friday morning (May 8), DAVRAA got only five golds, 16 silvers, and 19 bronzes. The host contingent is at tenth place in the medal standings out of 17 regions.

This is so far one of the worst performances of DAVRAA in the Palaro. Last year, DAVRAA was in eighth place, thus its aim to be on top five this year.

The National Capital Region (NCR) continues to dominate with 55 golds, 44 silvers, and 37 bronzes.

In second place is the Southern Tagalog Calabarzon with 34-28-29 medal standing. Western Visayas is third with a 26-32-28 medal haul.

Record-breaking feats

So far, 17 records were broken in this year's Palarong Pambansa - two from athletics and the rest from swimming.

In the triple jump secondary boys, the new record was achieved by Martin James Esteban from Region 3 with a distance of 15.01. The old record was that of Mark Harry Diones back in 2010 with 14.44 distance.

In the 800-meter secondary girls, the new record is 2:12.27 by Jie Ann Calis of Region 10 beating the old record of 2:17.2 by Angelica de Josef last year.

In swimming, Seth Isaak Martin of the NCR broke the elementary boys 50-meter backstroke record with 29.64 seconds. The previous record was 30.93 established by Christen Mercado.

In the girls secondary 100-meter butterfly, Regina Maria Castrillo of Region 4A broke her old record with a time of 1:04.45. Castrillo's old record established last year was 1:05.79.

In the girls elementary 200-meter freestyle, the team from NCR broke the old record of 1:59.85 with a new time of 1:59.73. The NCR team is composed of Althea Baluyot, Chloe Anne Fabic, Samantha Coronel, and Kara Mendoza.

In the girls elementary 200-meter event, Raven Faith Alcoseba of Central Visayas twice posted new record times beating the previous time of 2:37.16 by Regina Erin Castrillo of NCR. In the preliminaries, Alcoseba broke the previous record with a time of 2:34.76.  Then on the finals of the same day, Alcoseba again set a new record time of 2:33.71.

In the girls elementary 100-meter freestyle, Jules Katherine Ong of NCR also set a new record of 1:02.28 from a previous of 1:03.03 set by Imee Joyce Saavedra.

In the boys elementary and secondary 400 medley rally, the teams from NCR lorded over with new record times of 4:41.55 for elementary and 4:07.00 for the secondary. The previous records were also held by the NCR teams.

The team from Region 4A also the old record time of 4:40.62 in the 400 medley relay set in 1998. The new record time set by the team of Nicole Pamintuan, Bela Louise Magtibay, Suzanne Vernon Himor and Regina Maria Castrillo is 4:38.89.

In the elementary girls 100-meter freestyle, the old record of 1:03.03 was surpassed by two individuals from the NCR. They were Althea Baluyot who posted a record time of 1:02.76 and Jules Katherine Ong whose record time of 1:02.28 is the new record time for the said event.

The same thing happened in the girls elementary 200 LC meter individual medley, where the previous record of 2:34.76 was shattered by Zoe Marie Hilario of DAVRAA with a record time of 2:34.07 and Raven Faith Alcoseba of Central Visayas with 2:33.71.

DepEd officials said that record-breakers would be given a cash incentive of P3,000 each.

Thunderstorm and black bug infestation may have made the opening of the Palarong Pambansa in the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex last Monday somewhat a disappointment to some.

Read: Rice black bugs attack Palarong Pambansa

But Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario promised a grand closing ceremony to make amends with the opening ceremony. Del Rosario said "they will bring back the glory which was not achieved during the opening" due to the heavy rain.

As a way to entice delegates to stay until the closing ceremony, the province is giving P50,000 cash to the delegates with the most number of participants during the closing ceremony.

Del Rosario said they wanted to make the Palarong Pambansa in Davao del Norte the best Palaro ever.

After the Palaro, the province plans on creating a sports academy right at the sports complex that aims to produce best athletes not just for the province but the entire country as well.