TAGUM CITY -- Veruel Verdadero capped a brilliant stint in the Philippine National Youth Games-Batang Pinoy Championship with a fourth gold medal yesterday in track and field competitions at the Davao Del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.
The 15-year-old from Dasmariñas City, Cavite clocked 23.29 seconds in the boys’ 13-15 200m finale and nosed out Vince Jayson Buhayan of Iloilo in a tight sprint to the finish. Buhayan settled for the silver in 23.74 seconds and Earl John Limpag of Iligan City placed third in 24.15 seconds.
Verdadero, who snared the 200m bronze medal during the Children of Asia in Yakutsk, Russia five months ago, earlier defended his 100m dash title and prevailed in the 400m. He also anchored the Dasmariñas team to a golden finish in the 4x100m relay.
“I just train hard every day. There are offers from schools but I’d rather stay with my coaches at home,” said Verdadero, a ninth grader from Immaculate Concepcion Academy in Dasmariñas City.
Already the most bemedalled athlete on the track, Verdadero was supposed to run with his teammates in the 4x400m relay but refused to do so after pulling both hamstrings.
He’s expecting a cash incentive of P10,000 courtesy of Dasmariñas City mayor Elpidio Barzaga Jr. for each of the four golds he had won.
Other winners in athletics were Kenneth Corpuz of South Cotabato (boys’ 16-17 200m), Gianeli Gatinga of Tagig City (girls’ 16-17 triple jump), Gim Pel Ablona (girls’ 16-17 javelin throw), Edwin Giron Jr. of Dasmariñas (boys’ 16-17 800m), Marisol Amarga (girls’ 16-17 800m), Raul Payon of Koronadal City (boys’ 13-15 800m) and Bernalyn Bejoy of Negros Occidental (girls’ 13-15 800m).
Baguio City carted away six gold medals in taekwondo through the efforts of light middleweight John Kim Passion, welterweight Aila Mathel Calip, light middle Realis Lorean Tabiando, light heavy Angel Dy, heavyweight Ashley Janel Salao and welterweight Kristian Mamitag.
Cagayan de Oro and Bulacan had four golds each with CDO’s Patrick Marco Dedel (bantamweight), light middle Laizel Abucay, flyweight Purcia Ang and bantam Giodanni Bruz Benedicto winning their respective weight categories. Climbing the podium for Bulacan were featherweight Rubio Marco, middle weight Xela Daprenine Paulengco, bantam Catryn Balin and lightweight Rryshell Ramirez.
In karatedo’s kata event, Cebu City got five gold medals from Aubrey Codilla (girls’ 12-13), Justin Ayra Azur (girls’ 10-11), Jisha Zhyra Azur (girls’ 8-9), Nicholas Arthur Avila (boys’ 12-13) and Joseph Casquejo (boys’ 11-12).