Pinay hurdler settles for silver, Borlain gets bronze
by Kristel Satumbaga
ILAGAN, Isabela –Thailand bared its fangs right away by winning five gold medals while Princes Jean Nalzaro became the best Filipino performer so far at the start of the 2019 Southeast Asian Youth Athletics Championships yesterday at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex here.
Six-foot Peerapat Insuwan, a 16-year-old native of Trang City, delivered the first gold medal for the Thais and in the tournament after ruling the boys high jump with 1.93 meters, edging Jonathan Pua Wei Kai of Singapore (1.93m) and local bet Patrick Shane Tolentino (1.90m).
Insuwan cleared the bar on his first attempt while Kai managed it in the third, earning the Thai bet the gold.
Also producing golds for Thailand were Natthicha Sengna in girls 100m hurdles (15.40 seconds), Athibodee Aonthongyai in boys long jump (6.82m), Supisara Kinla-or in boys javelin throw (51.53m) and Bandit Singhatongkul in boys discus throw (51.67m).
Meanwhile, Nalzaro bucked jitters in her international debut stint to settle for silver behind Sengna with 15.61sec. Malaysia’s Halimatul Raja got the bronze in 15.76sec.
“First time ko pong international kaya kinabahan ako (It’s my first time to compete in the international level so I got nervous),” said Nalzaro, a student of Buanoy National High School in Balamban, Cebu.
Aside from Nalzaro’s silver, the Filipinos gained four bronzes courtesy of Tolentino, Jeshrelvan Ombid in boys 800m (2:00.83), Michael Alfred Adan in boys 2000m steeplechase (7:52.53) and Tara Borlain in girls 800m (2:18.67).
Borlain, the PH team’s brightest bet to win the gold, was actually leading in the first 400 meters but slowed down in the last 300 meters that allowed Vietnamese Thi Kim Phuong and Thu Quyen Nguyen to finish 1-2.
“It was tough and hot out there. I believe I could have done better but my legs were really tired in the end,” said the 15-year-old Borlain.
Vietnam also showed its might with three gold medals, while Malaysia and Timor Leste had one gold each.
Matilva Marcal Trindade gave Timor Leste the gold after becoming the lone participant in the girls 2000m steeplechase, timing 8:52.81.