FORMER Palarong Pambansa standout Nicole Pamintuan of Sta. Rosa made a big impression on Sunday when she clinched three gold medals on the first day of the swimming competitions of the 9th Philippine National Games in Cebu City.
The 18-year-old Pamintuan took the 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle, and the 50m backstroke to gain a headstart in the 16-and-over division of the swimming competitions.
She timed two minutes, 32.87 seconds in the 200m event, 1:02.12 in the 100m freestyle, and 32.64 seconds in the 50m backstroke.
Pamintuan said she is determined to put on a great performance in the PNG.
“I want to come up with a strong performance because I really want to play in the Asian Games,” said Pamintuan. “If I won’t qualify in the individual events, at least I’m hoping to make it to the relay team.”
Meanwhile, Cristabel Martes captured the first gold of the Philippine Sports Commission-organzied PNG when she ruled the senior women’s 10,000 meter run on Sunday at the Cebu City Sports Complex.
The 38-year-old Martes, representing Baguio City, clocked 40 minutes and 11.5 seconds to claim the gold in the event.
Martes, who was once the country’s marathon queen before Mary Joy Tabal, can still collect more golds for Baguio City in the 1,500m and 3,000m run.
Martes showed grit as she won the gold despite a calf injury she sustained in training.
“I’m a single mother and this is for my daughter,” said Martes, who still holds the national record in the 10,000m run with a time of 34:40.3 notched 17 years ago in the National Open.
Martes will leave for Korea to compete in the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival before returning to the country for the National Open in Ilagan City from May 31 to June 4.
In other athletics results, veteran national team member Narcisa Atienza of Baguio City ruled the senior women’s shotput with a throw of 12.25 meters, while Rogelio De Borja of Mandaluyong took the mens event with a throw of 12.49 meters.