Marella Salamat caps PNG cycling with third gold
Marella Salamat won a hat-trick of gold medals in PNG cycling. Jerome Ascano

MARELLA Salamat collected her third gold medal at the close of the 9th Philippine National Games cycling competition on Thursday in Danao City.

Salamat ruled the women’s criterium event on Thursday after registering three sprint laps to score 20 points, beating Avegail Rombaon of Iriga City (11 points) and Marianne Dacumos of Paranaque City (4 points).

Prior to the women’s criterium win, Salamat also won the gold in the road race and the individual time trial in the PNG organized and bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission with support from Smart and STI.

More than the PNG, Salamat said she is now setting her sights on the Asian Games in Jakarta this year.

“For me, the ITT event wasn’t really a competition. It’s a major preparation for me for the Asian Games since this would be my event,” said Salamat, a gold medalist in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

“I think I’m already around 80 percent in my preparation. I’m already satisfied with my performance on the flat road so I just need to work on my climb because that’s where the action is. I need to be prepared with what Indonesia has to offer.

In triathon, John Chicano won the men’s 18-and-above category with a time of one hour, one minute and 33 seconds, beating two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Nikko Huelgas on Wednesday by only two seconds.

“We took this race seriously,” said Chicano, referring to him and Huelgas. “We gave our best because this is part of the national program. We also wanted to increase the level of the National Games so we can inspire other athletes to give their best in other races.”

In archery, Kareel Meer Hongitan of Baguio City edged Youth Olympic Games-bound Nicole Marie Tagle to capture the recurve women’s recurve 72 arrows. Hongitan had 628 while Tagle had 617.

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Mark Javier of Dumaguete City scored 638 in the men’s side. Florante Matan and Luis Gabriel Moreno had 631 and 627 respectively to wrest the silver and bronze.

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