Balon Dagupan team hauls more medals


THE Balon Dagupan athletes made their presence felt in the Philippine National Games (PNG) when they hauled five gold, six silver, and five bronze medals during the competitions held in Cebu on May 19 to 25.

The Karatedo event became a virtual gold mine for the Balon Dagupan athletes where they bagged four gold medals and three silver medals.

PNG first-timer John Enrico Vasquez accounted for two gold medals, first in Junior Kata and second in the Junior Minus 55kg.

Karatekas Jayson Ramil Macaalay and John Matthew Manantan added one gold medal each in Senior Minus 60kg and Seniors Minus 75kg, respectively.

The silver medals were won by Mark Andrew Manantan in Seniors Kata; Jz Singsing in Seniors Minus 67kg; and Alexis Louise Nunez in Seniors Minus 55kg.

The fifth gold medal came from gymnast Jhune Michael Sajonas who ruled in Power Tumbling and added a bronze in the Trampoline event.

Meanwhile, Dagupan swimmers all brought home major awards, with Paul Andrew Rioflorido winning six medals.

Rioflorido earned three silver medals in the 200m (Individual Medley (IM), 100m Breaststroke and 4×50 Free Relay Events, and added three bronze medals in 50m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, and 4×50 Medley Relay events. Swimmers Jeremy Carlo Jizmundo bagged two silver medals in 50m Fly and 4x50m Free Relay events and one bronze medal in the 4×50 Medley Relay event.

John Karlo Carula and John Carlo Rioflorido both bagged silver medals in the 4x50m Free Relay events and bronze medal in 4x50m Medley Relay.

For his two gold medals in the PNG, John Enrico Vasquez expressed gratitude to Mayor Belen T. Fernandez for her continuous support for the city’s sports programs and its athletes.

“I’m really thankful for the full support that she (the mayor) gives us athletes. There’s really nothing to say but thank you, because everything she is giving us (athletes) only leaves us speechless,” said Vasquez.

Meanwhile, gymnast Jhune Michael Sajonas expressed his excitement when he earned a spot in the National Pool of Athletes, saying: “I’m really happy because it has always been my dream to be in the national team.”

The medal haulers received their cash incentives from the city government: ₱10,000 for every gold medal, ₱5,000 for every silver medal and ₱3,000 for every bronze medal during the closing ceremony of the Summer Sports Clinic at the People’s Astrodome on May 31.

In that occasion, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez reminisced how the city’s sports programs helped shape the youth of the city.

“This is not just (preparation) for competitions like R1AA. Aside from helping improve athletes’ reflexes, programs like these also help inculcate the value of teamwork and discipline into the minds of the youth,” said Fernandez.

Mayor Fernandez also thanked the Dagupeño youth for constantly inspiring her to continue pushing for progress in the city for the betterment of future generations. (CIO/VDV)

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