Aklan swimmers continue to dominate Batang Pinoy


Tagbilaran’s Gabriel Manigque is en route to winning the boys 13-15 freestyle gold medal in the Batang Pinoy Games Visayas swimming championships at the Lorenzo G. Teves Aqua Center in Dumaguete. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines – Stung by a shock defeat on Sunday, swimmer Kyla Soguilon came back strong on Monday to win three more golds, and emerge as the most bemedalled athlete in the Batang Pinoy Games-Visayas in Dumaguete.

Soguilon was dominant in the girls’ 13-15 year-old 100-meter backstroke, finishing in one minute and 11.9 seconds. She won another gold in the 50-meter butterfly after posting a time of 31.57 seconds.

Showing she had plenty left in the tank, the swimmer proceeded to swim a strong opening backstroke leg to lift Aklan to an easy win in the 4×50-meter individual relay race, with a time of 2:25.75.

At the end of the day, Soguilon – who was the outstanding swimmer in the girls’ elementary division in the Palarong Pambansa in April – finished with five gold medals and a silver.

Her lone second place finish came on Sunday, when she settled for silver behind Bacolod’s Mary Louise in the girls’ 200-meter backstroke.

“Tsamba lang,” said Kokoy Soguilon, the swimmer’s proud father. “In the relay, she was already tired.”

Soguilon can make it six golds when she competes in the 4×50-meter freestyle relay on Tuesday.

Hoping to catch up to Soguilon’s medal haul were Tagbilaran’s Gabriel Manigque and Ormoc’s Chloe Sophie Laurente, who kept their unbeaten runs to raise their totals to four golds each.

Standing at 6-feet already, the 15-year-old Manigque swept both the 13-15 year-old 400-meter freestyle (4:36.66) and 100-meter backstroke races (1:07.88) in style after earlier triumphs in the 50-meter and 200-meter backstroke event.

“Since I joined the UE varsity high school training under coach Ahli Frigillana last June, I feel am starting to realize my potential,” said Manigque, a Grade 8 student at University of the East, who has been one of the breakout stars in Batang Pinoy after failing to win a single medal in the Palarong Pambansa.

He will be gunning for a perfect five-for-five performance when he sees action in the 200-meter butterfly race on Tuesday.

Not to be outdone, Laurente likewise took her tally to four golds, securing the girls 12-and-under 50-meter butterfly title in 33.60 seconds following wins in the 200-meter individual medley, 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter butterfly events.

The New Ormoc City National High School student will be gunning for her fifth and final individual gold in the 200-meter butterfly event in the last day of the four-day swimming competition on Tuesday.

Garnering his second and third golds in as many events was Aklan’s Jennuel Booh de Leon, who topped the boys 12-under 400-meter freestyle (5:13.75) and 50-meter butterfly (33.60) races. He will be eyeing wins No. 4 and No. 5 in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly also on Tuesday.

After 44 events, Aklan continued to dominate the swimming competition, with a haul of 13 golds, nine silver, and four bronze medals. Ormoc was a distant second (6-4-4), with Bohol (5-3-3) and host Dumaguete (5-1-3) engaged in a close duel for third place.

Over at the Gov. Mariano Perdices Stadium, Bacolod, Cebu City and Leyte Province each picked up a gold apiece.

Cebu City’s Rick Angelo Sotto took home the boys’ triple jump title (13.57 meters), Leyte’s Jayvee Alvarez topped the boys’ 2,000-meter run (6:23.3) and Bacolod girl Ara Rahbea Delotavo won the 100-meter hurdles race in a photo finish with Cebu City’s Krystelle Leyson after both clocked identical times of 17.2 seconds.

In overnight athletic results, Bago City took a pair of golds with Ryle Simon Biadora topping the boys’ 110-meter hurdles race (16.346) and Shenny Enero in the girls’ high jump (1.41 meters), while Christian Ote Bagge of Numancia, Aklan bagged the gold in the boys’ javelin throw (49.66).

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