(SunStar Foto / Amper Campaña)

IT was the tale of two athletes that took the spotlight on the first day of competition in the 2018 Milo Little Olympics Visayas Regional Finals, as they captured gold medals in their final year of the school-based sporting meet.

Jessie Abelgas of Sisters of Mary Boystown and Mary Joy Loberanis of University of San Carlos-Basic Education (USC-Bed) used their experience to dominate in their events in the high school division at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) yesterday.

The 16-year-old Abelgas clocked a personal best of 17 minutes and 19 seconds in the boys’ 5,000-meter run to become the event’s first gold medalist for the second straight year, while Loberanis was equally impressive as she dominated the girls’ 1,500m run with a time of 5:02.

Loberanis has honed her skills in this event with nearly a decade stint starting as a second grader at seven years old. On the other hand, Abelgas was a late-bloomer with only a two-year stint, but in that two brief years, he produced gold medals that gave a jump start to his career.

“There have been changes since I won the first gold medal last year. We’ve got more support from the people around us. The Philippines Sports Commission even gave us a new pair of shoes and that was the first time to use that kind of shoes. The Cebu Provincial Sports Commission has also helped us in our training, ” said Abelgas.

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