PH bags 10 gold medals in 2019 Arafura Games opener

Philippine athletics leads the golden haul with 7 mints in the opening day of the 2019 Arafura Games

Beatrice Go

Published: 9:15 AM April 28, 2019

Updated: 9:15 AM April 28, 2019

DOUBLE GOLD. John Lloyd Cabalo leads the athletics team with two gold medals in the 2019 Arafura Games. Photo by Beatrice Go/Rappler

DARWIN, Australia – Team Philippines impressed with 10 gold medals during the opening day of the 2019 Arafura Games on Saturday, April 27. 

Philippine athletics leads the medal haul with 7 golds, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze, and sprint star John Lloyd Cabalo had a double gold opening day performance in the men's 400m run and men's 4x100m relay. 

"Honestly, I didn't expect it to be that much," said Philippines' chef de mission Marc Velasco.

"I expect the athletes to perform well. We had a modest expectation, but I think the athletes were so inspired so they were all so excited to perform well and I'm really surprised and happy that they were able to garner 10 gold medals in the first day." (WATCH: Teen weightlifter Kate Diaz out to make her own name)

Trackster Abigail Manzano opened the country's golden performances with a sure gold in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, clocking 13 minutes and 1.53 seconds.  

Philippines had a 1-2 punch in the men's javelin throw podium as Bruce Pernia claimed the top spot (43.02m), while Franz Lorejo registered a throw of 32.45m. 

Nicko Caparoso breezed past the towering Northern Territory Australians to top the men's 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 11:29.70. 

Jessel Lumapas exceeded her medal expectations with a gold in the women's 400m run, clocking 1:00.63. 

The women's 4x100m relay team – composed of Lumapas, Ara Rabbea Delotavo, Evangelene Caminong, and Eliza Cuyom – and triple jumper Francis San Gabriel added a silver and bronze, respectively. 

At the Parap swimming pool, Lora Micah Amogius led the Philippine swimming team with two golds in the women's 13-14 100m backstroke (1:10.53) and 200m individual medley events (2:33.63). 

Ivo Nikolai Ento added a gold to the country's coffers in the men's 13-14m 100m backstroke, clocking 1:05.52, while bagging 3 silver medals in the 50m free (27.43), 50m butterfly (29.77) and 200m individual medley (2:27.40). 

The Filipino swimmers combined for a total 3 golds, 7 silvers, and 5 bronzes to boost the country's medal haul. 

Philippines now has a total of 10 golds, 10 silvers, and 6 bronzes just from Day 1 of the 2019 Arafura Games. –