BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
Aklanon athletes hauled five gold medals at the start of the 2010 Palarong Pambansa at the Tarlac Recreational Park in San Jose, Tarlac.
The 12-year old Alyssa Marie Andrade of Dumaguit Elementary School has set two new Palarong Pambansa records in the elementary girls triple jump and long jump finals.
Andrade, the most bemedalled athlete in the 2010 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet hosted by the province of Aklan last month, took home the gold medal in the triple jump with a leap of 10.80 meters. Irin Balauran of Central Visayas had set the 2005 Palarong Pambansa record of 10.42 meters before the Aklanon athlete broke the record in the triple jump.
Andrade from Dumaguit, New Washington, Aklan also won her third gold in the Tarlac games with a record-setting leap of 5.07 meters in the long jump to erase the 4.99-meters record of Angeline Cobreros of Central Mindanao in the 2000 edition.
Andrade, who is competing for the last time in the elementary division, became the first triple gold medal winner in athletics after she topped the 100-meter dash by clocking 13.39 seconds. She is also competing in the two events - 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relays of the annual national meet.
The trio of Rainier Paolo Vallejo, Vendelle Magdael and Jeremiah Estrada, all from the Regional Science High School (RSHS) in Aklan, shared the limelight with double gold medals in the arnis secondary boys' competition. The trio bested the arnis players of Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen in the anyo team single weapon and in the double weapon team event against Bicol and Northern Mindanao.
Vallejo, 19-year old 2009 National Arnis Encounter gold medalist, also captured the silver medal in the anyo identical double weapon. Regie Jet Sanchez of Calabarzon got the gold, who scored 91.2 points, while Vallejo settled for second place with 89.9 points.
Sanchez also duplicated his gold medal feat in anyo individual single weapon event by scoring 91.2 points. Aklan's bet Vallejo was third in the event.
Western Visayas badminton team including Aklanon player Jeril Panado of Christ the King claimed the bronze in elementary boys team tie and Izza Marie Lourdes Masangcay of Ibajay Central School bagged the silver in the elementary girls team tie.