Bontoc, Mountain Province – Bontoc convincingly defended its over-all championship title in the recently concluded Provincial Sports Meet winning 77 of the 321 contested gold medals, 37 silver medals and 37 third finishes.
The champions raked in 56 gold medals from archery, lawn tennis and the combative sports of arnis and taekwondo to ward off serious competition from the other eleven delegations. Led by international campaigner Quint Gayyad Amongan, Bontoc’s archers grabbed 9 of the 13 archery events and lorded it over in lawn tennis pocketing all but one of the eight elementary and secondary final games.
Taekwondo also became another gold mine for the capital town athletes when their jins kicked their way to 18 of the 26 gold medals before gathering 22 more in arnis. Their sweetest win however came in secondary baseball when they emerged on top to reclaim the diadem they once held more than two decades ago.
Gymnastics and swimming catapulted Tadian 1 to second spot with an aggregate medal tally of 42-35-25. After being side-lined for the past many years, Tadian came prepared this year in gymnastics collecting 20 gold medals. Twelve more medals were added after the swimming competitions at Olympic size pool in Tabuk.
Sadanga dominated the pools and submitted the best showing in table tennis to register the third best over-all rank with a 39-26-34 gold-silver-bronze medal haul. The Sadanga swimmers snatched 32 gold medals of the 60 swimming events and reigned supreme in 6 of the 12 table tennis matches to seal their best ever finish in this annual sports extravaganza. Boxing contributed the other medal.
As expected, the runners of Bauko 1 burned the oval to secure for their district the fourth best rank, 33-32-27. Bauko 1’s short and long distance racers romped off with 22 gold medals in athletics. Five more gold medals were added by the wrestlers and two were contributed by the elementary sipa players.
Sabangan’s runner-up finishes in swimming and taekwondo afforded her the fifth place with 29 gold, 48 silver, and 27 bronze medals. Sabangan’s tankers got 13 gold medals in swimming in addition to the earlier 7 gold medals scored in taekwondo. Although fifth in the over-all standing, Sabangan has the second highest medal total with 104 behind Bontoc’s 151.
Besao banked on a 16 gold medal harvest in gymnastics to end the meet with 27-35-32 medal count, good for sixth place. Athletes from this western most town also took 5 golds in athletics, 2 golds in wrestling and another in elementary volleyball girls.
Seventh is Natonin (21 gold medals, 10 silver medals, 26 bronze medals) followed by Barlig (16 gold medals, 21 silver medals, 26 bronze medals), Paracelis (14 gold medals, 21 silver medals, 30 bronze medals), then Bauko 2 (13 gold medals, 20 silver medals, 33 bronze medals).
Tadian 2, winless in the elementary division, fought back in the secondary events and took the eleventh ranking with 6 gold, 16 silver, and 9 bronze medals.
The delegation may not be comfortable but erstwhile powerhouse Sagada found herself at the tail end of the ladder. If at all, the athletes from this tourist town have to console themselves for defending the little league title and bringing home the gold in secondary softball. The other two gold medals were won in athletics and elementary football. Its worst ever finish, Sagada submitted a 4 gold medal, 12 silver medal, and 10 bronze medal count.
Selected athletes shall represent the province in the forthcoming Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) to be held in Baguio City in February 2016. // Angel B. Baybay