BRUNEI — Swimming maintained its amazing golden run as the Philippines represented here by Mindanao and Palawan athletes made a final-day show of force at the end of the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-Northern Territory-East Asian Friendship Games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Davao City’s Fritz Jun Rodriguez emerged as the most bemedalled Filipino athletes as he added two more golds, bumping up his collection gold medal total to four and a silver in this biennial event which will be hosted by the Philippines in 2020.
“I gave it all,” said the 5-foot-9 Rodriguez, who has been recruited by NCAA powerhouse San Beda.
Rodriguez ruled the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 26.72 before helping men’s 4 x 50 medley relay beat the Northern Territory of Australia for the gold. Rodriguez’s lone silver came in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
Lora Micah Amoguis pocketed the gold in the women’s 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:35.61. She also got the silver in the 200-meter individual medley.
Athletics also did not disappoint at the huge Stadium Negara with 400-meter winner John Lloyd Cabalo of Puerto Princesa City winning another gold in the 800 meters with a personal best of 1:57.59. The Grade 12 student from the National University frustrated Massa Syamsuddin (1:57.85) of South Sulawesi.
“I would like to thank God first and my coaches,” said Cabalo, who also got inspiration from legendary 400-meter specialist Isidro del Prado. Del Prado now coaches the national track and field team of this tiny but rich nation.
The Philippines had a total of 12 golds, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals in the unofficial overall medal tally. Sabah of Malaysia had 19-13-10 gold-silver-bronze count, followed by Northern Territory (14-11-7).