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Western Visayas claimed the first gold medal at stake in Palaro 2008 when 18-year-old Sharmaine Joy Bucaling ruled the secondary girls’ javelin throw Monday morning.
Bucaling, a native of Dingle, Iloilo, registered a 33.95-m effort to edge Richelda Pepito of the host region with her 32.09 throw and Jancell Candelaria of Bicol (31.86).
Central Luzon standout Michael Calayo of Victoria, Tarlac also grabbed the limelight by seizing the high school boys’ long jump title with his 6.98-m leap. He was trailed by Calabarzon’s Ariel Magayon (6.65-m) and Ramjay Carado of Davao (6.47).
Four golds -- in secondary boys’ javelon throw, elementary boys’ triple jump, elementary girls’ shot put and secondary boys’ triple jump.
Seventeen events have been lined up in the secondary division, while 14 are calendared in the elementary category of the Palaro held for the first time in Puerto Princesa City.
National Capital Region, defending champion in both the elementary and secondary divisions. The Big City bets finished with 365 points in secondary and 275 points elementary en route to the overall title last year in Koronadal, South Cotabato.
Competition in swimming starts Tuesday also at the RMSC with 16 gold medals at stake.
The sports complex is also the venue of secondary basketball, football and volleyball.
A total of 6,392 elementary and secondary athletes from 17 regions are competing in the annual event that has served as the breeding ground for the country’s national teams.

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