CEBU PROVINCE’S GEMS
Get to know the stories of two athletes who helped bag gold medals for Cebu province
Dumaguete City — One used to be a naughty kid, the other a shy type. But one thing both have in common is their talent and passion in sports.
And it’s their talent that helped Cebu province take top spot in the current medal standings in the Batang Pinoy Visayas Games here.
Kyle Khenjie Dahili of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and Marian Calimbo of the Saint Francis School of Alegria are among those who won gold medals for Cebu province at the Governor Mariano Paredes stadium yesterday.
The 15-year-old Dahili bagged the team’s first gold in the medal-rich track and field event by topping the 100-meter dash while Calimbo clinched two golds by topping the blitz and rapid chess events to contribute in the 14 gold-medal haul of Cebu province after Day Two of the meet.
Cebu province, which has 172 athletes competing here, leads the official medal standings with 14 gold medals, seven silvers and six bronze medals. Aklan is currently at second (8-3-5) followed by Cebu City (4-8-5).
Dahili admitted he was once a mischievous and stubborn kid who just recently discovered his passion for athletics.
He said trying times motivated him to excel in this grueling sport.
“I [pointed] my life towards a better direction when I was in sixth grade, it was when my parents separated and they left us with our grandmother. I told myself to study and train hard so that I can provide for my younger siblings. [I also thought i would] have a better future if I can finish my studies through scholarship program in athletics,” Dahili told Cebu Daily News.
Since changing for the better, the eighth grader has improved in his skills, winning a silver medal in the 400-meter run of the 2015 Palarong Pambansa in Laguna.
This despite being a late bloomer in the sport.
“I started when I was in sixth grade. I used to play basketball and sepak takraw but I always ended up with the wrong friends. Everything started to change when I was recruited to join Talamban Elementary School’s athletics team. That’s when I started to build a passion for this sport,” added Dahili, who is the eldest among four children.
He said he is confident that he can win the 400m sprint in the ongoing meet since he considers this as his forte.
The 14-year-old Calimbo, meanwhile, grew up being a shy but very athletic girl, according to her mother Marifi delos Reyes Calimbo.
Marifi said Marian used to love badminton and volleyball, but her older brother influenced her to play chess.
“We never thought that she’d love chess. I am glad that it turned out to be her passion because the sport doesn’t require physical contact. All you need is wit,” said Marifi.
This is Marian’s second campaign in the Batang Pinoy. Her debut was in the 2015 national finals in Cebu City, where she exited early.
But she has recovered in this meet and could add more medals as she and her teammates continue their campaign in today’s standard competition.
Also helping in Cebu province’s gold medal haul was its karatekas, who contributed five golds in the kata (form) competition at the Negros Oriental Convention Center. Three gold medals were also won by Cebu province in the swimming competition and one in sepak takraw.
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