HUGE COME­BACK

El­son Jake Ro­driguez snatches the men’s 50m back­stroke gold medal for Team Min­danao-Philip­pines af­ter bag­ging a bronze in 100m back­stroke

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP SPORTS - BY MAR­I­ANNE S. ABALAYAN / Ed­i­tor

Brunei - El­son Jake Ro­driguez of Team Min­danao-Philip­pines bounced back from his bronze medal fin­ish in men’s 100-meter back­stroke Thurs­day morn­ing by clinch­ing the men’s 50m back­stroke gold late af­ter­noon in the swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion of the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friend­ship Games that for­mally opened yesterday morn­ing at the In­door Sta­dium in Ban­dar Seri Be­gawan.

Ro­driguez, who is part of the Davao City-ban­nered Team Min­danao del­e­ga­tion, clocked a to­tal of 29.37 sec­onds to out­class team­mate Ivo Niko­lai Enot (30.33) and Ni­cholas Wecker (30.40) of North­ern Ter­ri­tory who set­tled for the sil­ver and bronze, re­spec­tively, at the Has­sanal Bolkiah Na­tional Sports Com­plex.

The 20-year-old Ro­driguez, a fourth year Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­jor in Sports and Well­ness Man­age­ment stu­dent at the San Beda Univer­sity, said he felt more con­fi­dent in his sec­ond swim than in his first event.

“Nag-ex­pect nako nga mag­gold. Wala nako nakul­baan. Sa sec­ond heat nako sabay mga ku­sog. Tong sa unang event kay sa first heat ko nabu­tang, nadis­maya ko pero win or lose tang­gap man nako kay part of the game man pud na (I ex­pected to win the gold. I was not ner­vous any­more. I was in the sec­ond heat with the rest of the strong swim­mers. In my first event I was in the first heat and I was dis­mayed but win or lose I ac­cept that it’s part of the game),” he said in an in­ter­view with SunS­tar Davao yesterday at the side­lines of the del­e­ga­tion’s break­fast at the Wafa Ho­tel and Apart­ment.

With his feat, the Min­danao swim­ming team im­proved to a medal haul of three golds, six sil­vers and two bronzes. His brother Fritz Jun Ro­driguez and Joshua Raphael del Rio ear­lier pock­eted the golds in men’s 50m breas­troke and 200m freestyle, re­spec­tively.

The Ro­driguez broth­ers along with Juan Antonio Men­doza and Kierl Suazo an­nexed the men’s 4X50m freestyle re­lay sil­ver. The lat­ter also bagged a sil­ver in men’s 50m freestyle while Eir­ron Seth Vibar snatched his sec­ond sil­ver in men’s 200m breas­troke.

El­son Jake eyes to win one or two more golds as the swim­fest wraps up to­day.

SIM­PLE OPEN­ING

Over at the In­door Sta­dium, the 10th edi­tion of the bi­en­nial Games opened with a sim­ple cer­e­mony graced by Brunei Minister of Cul­ture, Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Seri Haji Amin­ud­din Ih­san who de­clared the open­ing of the Games and ex­changed to­kens with of­fi­cials of dif­fer­ent del­e­ga­tions.

Datin Paduka Dr. Ha­jah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Ab­dul Jalil, chair­man of the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friend­ship Games or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, in her mes­sage, urged par­tic­i­pants to ex­hibit the most out­stand­ing qual­ity of the friend­ship games.

“Do your best and con­tend in the spirit of true sports­man­ship and fair play. And open the door for net­work­ing with each other,” she said, adding that sports teaches one to ac­c­knowl­edge de­feat, honor tri­umph and over­come chal­lenges.

BIMPNT-Eaga Sports Coun­cil chair­man Da­tok Jufri Rah­man, for his part, said the Games aims to in­crease friend­ship be­tween par­tic­i­pat­ing nations.

He said, “We are here for a good cause, to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion. Through this, we hope the legacy of broth­er­hoods be­tween these nations will con­tinue in the next gen­er­a­tion.”

Philip­pine Sports Com­mis­sion (PSC) Com­mis­sioner Charles Ray­mond A. Maxey joined other coun­tries’ heads of del­e­ga­tions at the pres­i­den­tial stage.

Min­danao and Palawan del­e­gates rep­re­sented Team Philip­pines dur­ing the pa­rade, don­ning the PSC-spon­sored blue track suit and cap and wav­ing fla­glets as they passed.

Games were set to re­sume at 3 p.m. yesterday.

SKIPPY LUMAWAG/SDD-CMO

BOUNC­ING BACK. Team Min­danao-Philip­pines’ El­son Jake Ro­driguez who set­tles for the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friend­ship Games 2018 men’s 100-meter back­stroke bronze medal Thurs­day morn­ing, re­cov­ered to clinch the 50m back­stroke gold in the af­ter­noon.

PA­RADE. Del­e­gates of Team Min­danao-Philip­pines join the pa­rade of contin­gents dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony held at the In­door Sta­dium in Ban­dar Seri Be­gawan, Brunei yesterday morn­ing.

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