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Espenilla, Barcelona win golds for Bicol in Palarong Pambansa

Bicol Region opened its campaign in the 2023 Palarong Pambansa hosted by Marikina City with back-to-back gold medals on the first two days of competition.

Ana Bhianca Espenilla, a Masbateña athlete, secured the first gold medal for the Vulcans in the secondary girls javelin throw on Monday morning before the opening ceremony of the games in the afternoon.

Ana Bhianca Espenilla (627) poses at the scoreboard showing her 4.59-meters performance in the secondary girls javelin throw on Monday morning at the 2023 Palarong Pambansa. PHOTO COURTESY OF DEPED BICOL

Espenilla topped the event after a 42.81-meter performance.

Avegail Beliran of Western Visayas recorded 35.54 meters for the silver and Nathesia Moro of Cagayan Valley placed third with a throw of 34.87 meters.

The region's second gold medal was delivered by Rose Jane Barcelona, an 11-year-old student from Sorsogon Province, on Tuesday.

In her first national competition, Barcelona ruled the elementary girlslong jump event with an impressive 4.59meters performance.

She defeated silver medalist Marie Coronado of Region 6 who jumped 4.48 meters and bronze medalist Shamsey Romo of Region 8 who registered 4.47 meters.

Barcelona, meanwhile, will compete again in the 200meter run on Thursday, August 3, and the relay on Friday, August 4.

Gilbert Sadsad, Department of Education regional director for Bicol, said that the delegation from the Bicol Region is performing well at the 2023 Palarong Pambansa in Marikina despite the persistent rains.

The athletes engage in their regular practice and conditioning sessions to ensure they are well-prepared for their scheduled games, he said.

Sadsad said that around 600 athletes and coaches are being accommodated at the Marikina High School for the duration of the Palarong Pambansa.

“To ensure the safety and security of all participants, the security and safety committees, along with other working committees, have been fully activated,” he said.

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