BANTAY, Ilocos Sur — Tara Borlain crossed the finish line first in the secondary girls 800m run and fell into the waiting arms of her father, who gave him a big hug.
“I’m feeling great. This is so surreal. I never thought the feeling of this will be so amazing,” said the 15-year-old after winning gold in the final day of athletics competitions in the Palarong Pambansa at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium.
After winning with a time of two minutes, 19.78 seconds, Borlain paid tribute to his father - a former award-winning bodybuilder Ring, who was there for her every step of the way.
“My dad was there with me all along, everything that I went through,” said the younger Borlain.
Tara was known for her exploits in triathlon during her younger days. This time, the St. Paul College-Pasig standout competed in the Palaro to pursue a running career on the advice of her father.
“I always love running since four years old. My dad just kept on pushing me and telling me to do what I love,” said Tara.
Her father was again waiting at the finish line when she faced several big names in the 800-m run like Lheslie De Lima, the first gold medalist of this year’s Palaro, and national youth team member Bernalyn Bejoy.
The incoming Grade 10 student made her move in the final 250 meters, beating De Lima by just 0.14 of a second.
The best advice her dad gave? Always be happy.
“My dad made sure that I always stayed happy and that my dad always tells me if I frown, stop what you are doing because you are not happy. He made sure that I was happy in everything I do,” said Tara.