After steering the Western Visayas contingent to another first runner-up finish in this year’s Palarong Pambansa in Dumaguete City, athletics gold medalists from the region, among them standout tracksters from Negros Occidental, are heading for Vietnam this month for the 5th ASEAN School Games scheduled on June 22-20.
Heading the list of Vietnam-bound athletes is Mary Anthony Diesto, who registered another performance in the POC-PSC Philippine National Games last week, finishing with gold medals in junior girls’ 100 meters and triple jump, and a bronze in long jump.
Also in the list are long distance runner Joida Gagnao, the Palaro record-breaker from Guimaras and barefoot runner Josie Mae Sustiedo.
Initially included in the list were Angelica De Josef, another Palaro record-breaker, and secondary boys’ athletics highest pointer Christopher Lirazan. De Josef’s participation was deferred by the PATAFA as she is too young to compete in the meet, while Lirazan, is too old.
To qualify for the meet, the participating athletes must be born in 1996, 1997 or 1998.
Meanwhile, after the competition in Vietnam, Diesto will start her training for the 2nd Asian Youth Games will be staged in Nanjing, China on August 16-24.
The incoming senior student, who decided to transfer from Bacolod Tay Tung High School to Negros Occidental High School won the 100 meters gold in the PNG with a time of 12.90 seconds, besting Leyte’s Leah Joan Creer (13.02 seconds) and Winnie Lorenio (13.06 seconds).
In junior girls’ triple jump, Diesto bagged the gold with her 11.15-meter leap, while her 4.97-meter output in long jump earned her the bronze medal.*NAB
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