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Defending overall champion National Capital Region and Western Visayas set the pace in swimming and athletics, respectively, three days into the 2008 Palarong Pambansa at the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex in Puerto Princesa City.

NCR picked up six more golds in swimming Wednesday, hiking its harvest to 17 on a day when Western Visayas captured four more titles to raise its output to 10 in athletics.

But Day 3 belonged to NCR tanker Dorothy Hong, who shattered a decade-old Palaro record in secondary girls’ 100m backstroke.

As lead swimmer of NCR\'s victorious 4x100m medley relay squad, Hong, 14, clocked 1 minute, 7.94 seconds to eclipse Lizza Danila\'s mark of 1:08.00 in Bacolod City during the Centennial Palaro in 1998.
Although Hong\'s record time was set in a relay event, tournament manager Richard Luna said the clocking was credited since she was the lead swimmer in the team.
It was NCR’s third new meet record in swimming, after the high school 4x50m medley relay teams surpassed


Sharing the spotlight with Hong was Cebu City\'s Lindley Fran Navaja, who emerged as the fastest athlete of the week-long Games held for the first time in Puerto Princesa City.

The 16-year-old Navaja retained the secondary boys\' 100m gold by clocking 11.12 seconds to edge Central Luzon\'s Michael Calayo, who came in 11.13. Western Visayas\' Arlo Cancho took the bronze in 11.4 seconds.

NCR\'s Ruffa Bargola ruled the secondary girls\' 100m with a 12.84 clocking, finishing ahead of Western Visayas\' Ana Marie Jagocoy, the silver medalist in 12.87.

Another NCR bet, Maureen Emily Shrijver, who has Belgian and Chinese parents, topped the elementary girls\' 100m gold by clocking 13.00 seconds.

Calabarzon\'s Rodquem Maullon run away with the elementary boys\' 100m gold by clocking 12 seconds, edging Bicol\'s Arjay Molina (12.1) and Cotabato Region\'s Rod Anthony Bacalso (12.2), who settled for the silver and bronze, respectively.

Western Visayas’ four golds Wednesday were courtesy of Vienna Mae Banebane (secondary girls\' 400m hurdles), Richie Joy Cabanyog (elementary boys’ shotput) and barefoot runners Josie Malacad and Rieveneth Jayed Penarubia, who respectively ruled the secondary and elementary secondary girls and elementary girls\' 800m races with surprisingly identical times of 2:20.1.
NCR’s Jose Renato Unso Jr., son of the former Southeast Asian Games 400m hurdles record holder and first runner-up in the Mr. Palaro, won the secondary boys\' 400m hurdles.


Over at the pool, Calabarzon\'s Banjo Borja and Central Visayas\' Loren Dale Echavez captured their second golds after winning the secondary boys\' 200m breaststroke and the secondary girls\' 100m free, respectively. Also bagging his second title was John Brylle Zapanta of Bicol, the secondary boys\' 100m free champion.

Jose Gio Palencia won his second individual gold by topping the elementary boys\' 100m free in 1:02.11, while teammate Frances May Cabrera won the elementary girls 100m free (1:07.72). The other NCR winners were the 4x100m medley team of Fahad Alkhaldi, Jose Gio Palencia, Vincent Edrick Dee, Dunn Clarke Vinluan (4:53.75), the elementary girls 4x100m medley quartet of Denice Hong, Patricia Manuel, Ma. Kristina Bartolome, Frances May Cabrera (5:12.82) and the secondary boys 4x100m medley team of Gian Berino, Gabriel Catelo, Kevin Lua, Timothy Yap (4:19.59).

NCR continued to dominate women\'s artistic gymnastics with Palaro veteran Rachelyn Astillar copping the individual all-around gold in the high school division with 58.90 points. Astillar and Rizza Garcia joined forces to give the Manilans the team crown.

Regine Reynoso of NCR shone brightest in the elementary division, posting 36.15 points to win the WAG gold. Together with Raya Angela Nazario and Cristina Onofre, she led NCR to the gold in the team event.


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