by Kristel Satumbaga
DAVAO CITY – Karl Jahrel Yulo showed his championship pedigree as he collected five gold medals in the elementary boys artistics gymnastics yesterday in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa at the University of Immaculate Conception gym here.
Younger brother of national team member Carlos, the 11-year-old Grade 6 student from Aurora Quezon Elementary School in San Andres, Manila, stamped his class in the high bar (9.200 points), vault (11.975), mushroom (9.20), floor exercise (12.000) and individual all-around to become one of the multi-medalists in the week-long competition.
Yulo said this year’s competition was hard because of the tough field.
“Kaya sabi ni coach kailangang mas galingan ko pa,” said Yulo, who hauled five golds in last year’s edition held in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Karl’s brother, 18-year-old Carlos, is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win a medal at the world championships last year after finishing bronze in the floor exercise in Doha, Qatar.
Karl hopes to pick up his sixth mint as he and teammates Gabriel Tajonera and Hillarion Palles III compete in the team event for NCR.
Yulo’s teammates Jasmine Velasquez also made waves in the secondary artistics gymnastics by scooping three golds in individual all-around (41.400), team event (119.100) and single bar (7.000).
At the University of the Philippines pool, NCR’s Philip Joaquin Santos smashed another record in swimming after timing 2 minutes and 8.16 seconds to capture the secondary boys 200-meter backstroke.
Santos, who broke his own 200m individual medley mark on Wednesday, eclipsed the 2:09.87 meet mark of Jerald Jacinto in 2017.
Davao Region’s Juliana Marien Villanueva also eclipsed her own record in the secondary girls 800m freestyle in 9:32.77. Her previous mark posted last year was 9:45.40.
In athletics, Western Visayas’ Alfrenze Braza grabbed his second gold medal in record-breaking fashion after shattering the secondary boys 1500m mark with a time of 4:01.95.
Three other runners also surpassed the meet record of 4:05.8 held by Northern Mindanao’s Kevin Capangpangan since 2014 with silver medalist Reymar Molave of NCR clocking 4:02.38, bronze winner Anthony Bacle of Calabarzon timing 4:02.47 and fourth-placer Erwin Mancao of Northern Mindanao finishing in 4:02.55.