DAPITAN CITY – Eleven-year-old swimmer Haruka Jade Shimizu scored two victories to power Davao City to a seven-gold haul in swimming even as Zamboanga City got six of its own on the pool - and more elsewhere - on Friday in the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy 2012 Mindanao leg.
The regional heayweights in swimming didn't waste time in declaring their intentions, but it was Shimizu who made the biggest splash after ruling the girls 11-12 400-meter freestyle and 100m free to become the first double gold winner in the event.
Glenn Adrian Arsula, 12, later duplicated Shimizu’s feat when he bagged the top prize in the boys 11-12 200m backstroke before leading Zamboanga City to the boys 15-under 200m medley relay championship.
Davao City also gained on the golden efforts by Dave Jone Andebor in boys 11-12 400m free, Dara Clariza Evangelista in girls 13-15 400m free, Rylle Coleen Regidor in girls 13-15 200m back, Josiah Paul Lozano in boys 11-12 100m free, and John Angelo Zuniga in boys 13-15 200m butterfly.
But the Zambo City tankers refused to be upstaged as 12-year-old Jesse Kirei Tan broke the ice with a triumph in girls 12-under 50m breaststroke, followed by Gemries Nochefranca in boys 13-15 50m breast, Shermalyn Jalmaani in girls 13-15 50m breast, and Vyanka Nykole Macaso in girls 11-12 200m fly.
Zamboanga, which has the largest delegation in the Games with 109 athletes, then struck for more in karatedo, athletics, and lawn tennis.
Glancing at the early results, PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez predicted Mindanao will figure prominently in the National Finals on Dec. 5-9.
“This goes to show that with enough coaches and technical skills, LGUs in Mindanao can break the dominance of Luzon and Visayas,” said Gomez who cited studies that the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Western Visayas had consistently topped the Palarong Pambansa for decades.
Jalmaani, Macaso, and Tan also picked up their second golds when they snared the girls 15-under 200m medley relay, along with Marietonie Allysha Ledesma. Arsula and Mochefranca then steered their team to the boys 15-under 200m medley relay victory with Idha Warfahly Bangahan and Jonel Ventura.
Alliah Elline Ragunton of Cotabato Province sustained her hot streak all the way to the lawn tennis gold medal in girls singles, beating teammate Diadem Sasota, 8-2.
Power-hitting Noel Damian Jr., of Zamboanga City copped the boys singles crown with an 8-1 rout of top seed Francis Dominic Lanzado of Tangub.
It was actually a double victory for Damian as he paired with Abdul Qoahar in beating Lanzado and Jeff Bolatero, 8-4, in boys doubles, while Davao del Norte's Rosuel Ann Binondo and Jed Valle Rayne Aquino beat Zamboanga Sibugay's Franchette Faye Helar, and Dannie Mae Suraniog, 8-0, for the girls doubles plum.