By Jean Malanum

WINNER. Zamboanga City’s Adrian Bucol dominates the 32kg category in the boys 12-under of the Batang Pinoy weightlifting competition at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Monday (Dec. 18, 2023). Bucol tallied 103kgs (45kgs in snatch and 58kgs in clean and jerk). (PSC media pool photo)

MANILA – Adrian Bucol of Zamboanga City bagged the gold medal in the boys’ 12-under 32kg category of the weightlifting competition of the Batang Pinoy National Championships at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Monday.

Bucol, who lives in Barangay Mampang, registered a personal best 103kgs (45kgs in snatch and 58kgs in clean and jerk).

His teammate, Paul Jake Bitong, lifted 84kgs (36-48) to secure the silver medal while Kemuel Luke Ubanan of Cebu City settled for the bronze medal with a total lift of 69kgs (30-39).

“Pinaghandaan ko po talaga ang makasali dito sa Batang Pinoy (I really prepared to participate in Batang Pinoy),” the Grace 6 student of Mampang Elementary School said.

Meanwhile, Matthew Diaz of Rizal ruled the boys’ 37kg category with a total lift of 96kgs (41-55).

Cydrelle Jay Andalahao of Zamboanga City tallied 95kgs (42-53) for second place while Jhempson Legarte of Zamboanga del Sur lifted 83kgs (36-47) was third.

“Nakakanerbiyos po kasi unang sali ko pa lamang po. Sinabihan lang po ako ni ate Hidilyn na huwag matakot at isipin ko po na nasa ensayo lang po ako kaya nakayanan ko (I was nervous because it’s my first time. Hidilyn just told me not to be afraid and to think that I was just training so I was able to handle it),” said Diaz, the 12-year-old nephew of Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, who built a weightlifting gym in Jala-Jala, Rizal.

In cycling, Aristen Aricela Ardice Dormitorio topped the girls 13-under criterium event at the Tagaytay City Centrum.

The younger sibling of MTB (mountain bike) multi-medalist Ariana, finished the 30-minute, three-lap race in 45 minutes and 48.4 seconds.

“I’m happy. Meditation and prayers are part of my preparation ko,” said the 12-year-old, who is attending a homeschool program at Hope Integrated School in Fairview.

The silver medal went to Yvaine Oasias (46:00.8) while Ysabel Nicole Jamero of Iloilo City (46:28.3) took the bronze medal.

The top three finishers in the boys’ division were Jhaykarl Ophor Macapagal Nuaez of Quezon City (42:30.2), Kylle Jabat Flores of General Santos City (42:30.4) and Mark Jerenz Atienza of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (43:00.5).

A total of 18,000 athletes from 193 local government units are participating the 25 sports featured in the Philippine Sports Commission-organized Batang Pinoy and Philippine National Games (PNG), held simultaneously in various venues.

The PNG is for athletes 18 years old and above while the BP is for those 17 years old and below. (PNA)