DAGUPAN CITY – The city’s Balon Dagupan  athletes made history in the 2016 National Championships held in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte on November 27 to December 2 by snatching  eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals and setting three new national records in swimming for the first time.

The national championship games was participated in by 12,000 athletes from all over the country with 23 of them belonging to the city’s Balon Dagupan Batang Pinoy team. They competed in arnis, swimming, chess and 3 on 3 basketball.

“We have indeed made a history in the Batang Pinoy championships as we watched our athletes excel in the different competitions breaking their own personal records and finishing in the top ten with one of them even breaking three national records and setting a new one,” said Dagupan City Sports Commissioner Finnela T. Sim when she presented to the city during the flag raising ceremony the 23 Balon Dagupan Batang Pinoy team and their achievements which brought honor and pride to the city.

The most bemedalled among them was Janelle Alisa Frances Lin who won four golds and one silver in the 200M Backstroke, 200M Freestyle, 200M Individual Medley, 50M Freestyle and 200M Butterfly respectively in the under 12 years old category.

She also set new national records in the competition especially in the 200M Backstroke, 200M Freestyle, and 200M Individual Medley.

Other big winners were Paul Andrew Rioflorido, John Carlo Rioflorido, Anton Louis Vivencio Villaflor III, and Jeremy Carlo Jizmundo who garnered gold each in the 4x50M medley relay in the swimming competition under 13-17 years old category.

Paul also won two more bronze medals in the 50M breastroke and 200M breastroke.

Rianna Isabelle Casipit won silver medal in the 50M breastroke in the 13-17 category swimming competition.

The other members of the swimming team like Sophia Rafaelle de Vera and Sean Iverson Fabiana under the 13-17 years old broke their own personal record in the game. The same is true with Gabriel Angelo Jizmundo and Bryan Rioflorido in the under 12 years old category.

The Balon Dagupan team swimmers were trained by the Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS) under Head Coach Jefferson Lao.

They trained 2-3 hours daily at the city’s own Olympic-size swimming pool, which was renovated by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez to serve as a training pool for children under her B.T.F. Does it Program.

Melquizedick D. Macam was in the top ten finalists in arnis. Maycydel N. Fajardo was also at the top ten in chess under 13-17 years old bracket in the standard, rapid and blitz category.

Sim disclosed that the honor and the medals of the team will not be possible without the kindness, selflessness and undying support of Mayor Belen.

She also thanked the coaches who were instruments in the training and preparations of the team like Joseph Y. Solayao and Rowena Doria in arnis; German C. Francisco in chess, Jefferson P. Lao in swimming; and Arthur Jose C. Ang and Jefrey R. Vitales in basketball.

The team is set to receive cash incentive from the city in grateful recognition of their feat and in bringing honor and pride to the city. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Dec. 5, 2016)