Junior athletes steal spotlight

March 08, 2019

ILAGAN CITY – Junior track athletes Katherine Anne Quitoy and Charmaine De Ocampo stole the spotlight from their seniors with record-breaking performances and multiple gold-medal hauls at the close of the 2019 Ayala – Philippine Athletics Championships Friday afternoon here at the Ilagan City Sports Complex.

Quitoy, the Bacolod City native and Palarong Pambansa champion, threw 44.71 meters in girls’ javelin throw to erase a 21-year-old record of 44.54 meters set by legendary thrower Rosie Villarito back in the 1998 national open.

The hurl of 18-year-old Quitoy was meters ahead of her closest competitors Lanie Carpentero (41.93 meters) and Tina Rosete (34.28meters), who settled for silver and bronze medals, respectively.

De Ocampo, on the other hand, also sent a strong statement as the most promising runner today with an astounding four-gold and two-silver medal finish at the end of the three-day trackfest organized by the PATAFA and supported by the City of Ilagan, Ayala, Milo, Philippine Sports Commission, Soleus, L.TimeStudio, Cherrylume, Foton, Asian Athletics Association and the International Association of Athletics Federation.

The Cavite Province standout De Ocampo emerged as the most bemedalled athlete in the APAC with gold-medal wins in the 1,500 meters (5:09.98) yesterday to add to her earlier mints in the 800 meters, 4x100 and 4x400 girls' relays. She just fell short in the 4x400 mixed gender relay and the 3,000-meter run and settled for the silvers.

National team members also hogged the spotlight with Francis Medina, Robyn Brown, Kristina Knott, Eric Cray and Anfernee Lopena also finishing with multiple gold medals.

Hurdlers Medina and Brown clinched three gold medals apiece following their wins in the men’s and women’s 400 meter hurdles, respectively. They also added mints with wins in the 4x100 men’s and 4x100 women’s relay events, respectively.

They ended their strong showing in style in the first ever 4x400 mixed gender relay together with Eloisa Luzon and Mico Del Prado after clocking in 33.44 seconds to complete a triple-gold medal haul.

Today’s top Filipino sprinters Cray and Knott also reigned supreme in the 200-meter run to highlight the last day of the national open, which also serves as qualification of the national team pool members for the coming Southeast Asian Games this November in New Clark City.

Veteran SEAG campaigner and multiple gold medalist Cray clocked in 21.92 seconds in the said event to prevail over Mohammad Irfan Qabeel Daud (22.59second) and Yann Guang Marcell Tan (22.88seconds) of Singapore, who settled for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.