TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Gianeli Gatinga of Taguig shone bright on a rainy morning when she captured two gold medals in track and field even as Team Quezon City went full steam ahead behind a pair of swimming stars in the POC-PSC Batang Pinoy 2012 at the Marikina Sports Complex.
Gatinga, a shy, pony-tailed seventh grader at St. Francis of Assisi, crowned herself the fastest girl in the 13-under 100-meter dash before leaping for the gold in long jump.
The five-foot Gianeli clocked 13 seconds flat in the century dash, and covered a distance of 4.50m in long jump for her golden double. She's expected to compete in the relays, 200m and triple jump in the coming days.
"I'm happy to compete in my first Batang Pinoy.'' said Gatinga who won silver in relays and bronze in long jump during the Pangasinan Palarong Pambansa early this year.
But the distinction of harvesting most golds of the day belonged to QC's Raissa Regata Gavino and Kirsten Chloe Daos who captured three golds each.
Gavino triumphed in the girls 12-under 400-m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, while Daos won in girls 15-under 200m butterfly and 400m free. They then shared the gold in the 15-under 4X50m medley relay.
Manila bet Vicente Nabong snared the first gold of the competition with a victory in the boys 15-under 5,000m. The 14-year-old Nabong, a high school sophomore from San Sebastian, timed 19:00.3 seconds.
"I'm determined to get better and better every year,'' said Nabong in Filipino who netted gold in the 3,000m and silver in 1,500m in last year's national finals held in Naga City.
Host Marikina used their familiarity with the turf that went slippery as the rains fell by lunchtime when its tracksters stormed with five gold medals.
Turning in golden performance for Marikina were Jasper Aldrian Navoa in boys 15-under shot put, Joanna Mae Icaranom in girls 13-under 2,000m walk, Lierence Sayenga in boys 13-under long jump, Rizelle dela Paz in girls 15-under 400m dash and Jamie Immanuel Mejia in boys 15-under 400m dash.
Also sharing the spotlight in the first full day of competition was 15-year-old Mariane Audrey Yorac of Pasig who ruled the girls 15-under high jump.
Yorac's teammate Emmanuel Gutierrez and Erica Corag followed suit with triumphs in their respective events.
Gutierrez stamped his class in the boys 13-under 100m dash with a time of 12.2 seconds, while Corag prevailed in the girls 13-under high jump with a leap of 1.20m.