SINGAPORE – The 9th Asean Schools Games got off to a rousing start for Team Philippines after Karl Alvyn Aquino struck for gold in the boys long jump Saturday morning at the Bishan Stadium here.
Aquino, a Grade 12 student at the National University [NU], recorded a leap of 7.05 meters to win the Games’ first event played under a slight drizzle.
The Philippines actually bagged two medals right away as hostilities to the annual event kicked off as Cebu City’s John Marvin A. Rafols won the bronze medal with his 6.58.
Churod Chatchanan of Thailand took the silver with a leap of 6.68 meters.
Anthony Valdez, one of the coaches of the Philippines athletics team, in an interview said Aquino was teary-eyed while the Philippine national anthem was played during the medal ceremony.
“Sabi niya iba ang feeling kapag naririnig mo na tinutugtog yung sariling national anthem (It’s a different feeling when you listen to your own national anthem being played in the awarding ceremony),”
Valdez quoted Aquino as saying. Aquino, who hails from Dasmariñas, Cavite, is a three-time Palarong Pambansa gold winner and was competing in his first international event.
“Proud kasi kami as a first timer hindi pa intimidate siya sa mga kalaban na mas may experience (We are very proud of him. As a first-timer he was not intimidated with the experienced opponents),” Valdez added.
Aquino will hit the tracks the second time when he competes in the triple jump event. Cherry Mae Banatao also won a bronze medal in the girls’ high jump event.
Over at the Republic of Polytechnic, the Philippine girls volleyball team topped Malaysia in three sets, 25-18, 25-20, and 25-16.
The Jaime Margaret Frago-led Philippines girls’ team dominated using their well-orchestrated attack plays which caught their Malaysian rivals off guard.
A small group of Filipinos who are based here and also volleyball fanatics showed their support to Team Philippines. (PSC PR)