DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan again asserted itself as a powerhouse in sports after successfully defending its championship in this year’s Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet during a grueling five-day competition held in Laoag City from March 6 to 11.
Amassing 87 gold, 64 silver and 55 bronze medals after five days of competition, the city again made history by surpassing its total medal count last year of 72 gold, 53 silver and 39 bronze medals.
This was the second time since last year that the Balon Dagupan athletes clinched the top spot, to crown itself as back-to-back champions in the R1AA meet.
Dagupan City’s swimming team again proved itself as the city’s strongest medal contender when it accounted for 26 gold, 17 silver and 15 bronze medals.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the Balon Dagupan swimming team has been tagged as the team to beat in R1AA’s swimming events.
Meanwhile, the city’s arnis team hauled 14 gold, six silver and six bronze medals while the athletics team for elementary and secondary bagged a total of seven gold, 11 silver and six bronze medals.
The aerogymnastics team also bagged a total of 10 gold and two silver medals while the gymnastics team hauled a total of 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze medals.
Surprisingly, the city’s boxing and wrestling teams also made history during their very first appearance in the competition. The boxing team bagged three gold and one silver medals, while the wrestling team hauled two gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
SPED athletes also bagged two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
The city was adjudged as Best Performing Schools Division in swimming, arnis, boxing and aerogymnastics. But overall, it had the most number of medals– 87 gold, 64 silver and 55 bronze.
Pangasinan 2 carded 57 gold, 52 silver, and 43 bronze medals for second overall finish, followed by Ilocos Norte, 56 gold, 39 silver and 61 bronze medals, Pangasinan 1, 42 gold, 41 silver and 45 bronze, and Urdaneta City, 29 gold, 31 silver and 48 bronze.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC) Vice Chair Finnela T. Sim and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorna Bugayong received the trophies during the closing ceremony on March 11.
The mayor lauded the efforts of the athletes whose collective skills and perseverance helped the city clinch its second overall victory.
The city’s athletes made significant progress in the competition since its seventh ranking in 2014.
With the city government’s full support to youth and sports development programs, Balon Dagupan rose from its being a perennial cellar-dweller to finish second best in 2016 and 2017, before finally clinching the top spot for two consecutive years now.
For now, the city’s athletes will be preparing to see action in the Batang Pinoy Luzon Leg of Philippine Sports Commission this March and the Palarong Pambansa in April. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)