Archers Bondad, Merto strike gold in Batang Pinoy

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  • Don Marc Bondad and Crisha Mae Merto finished with perfect campaigns in the Batang Pinoy Games Visayas, but did so in contrasting fashion on Wednesday at the Negros Oriental State University range.

    Carrying the banner of his hometown of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, Bondad outclassed Tacloban’s Frazel Ray Batingal, 6-2, in securing the boys cadet division Olympic round championship.

    “I finally learned the value of proper training and constant practice,” said Bondad, who was the Western Visayas regional champion in 2016 and saw action in the Palarong Pambansa Legazpi, Albay but failed to qualify in this year’s Palaro held in San Jose, Antique.

    “I became overconfident but I promise that it won’t ever happen again,” vowed the Grade 9 Negros Oriental High School student, who also won the 30, 40, 50, 60-meter titles and the FITA round.

    On the other hand, Merto, daughter of former national team member Crizaldo and niece of 1988 Seoul Olympian Rowell, won her own battle of nerves and a tense duel with teammate Gabrielle Monica Bedaure, 6-5, in a shoot-off to rule the girls cadet division Olympic round title match.

    With her father-coach and uncle watching from the sidelines, Merto calmed herself and shot an 8, while Bedaure only managed a 7 in the sudden death shoot-off.

    “I was so nervous; I thought the stress might trigger my asthma. Muntik na po,” bared Merto, the younger sibling of former national champion Cristabel, of the effort in keeping her composure during her battle with Bedaure.

    The Holy Cross High School Grade 8 student other victories came in the 30, 40, 50, 60-meter and FITA events.

    Both Bondad and Merto picked up their sixth straight gold medal in archery, as the Dumaguete archers were seven-of-eight in the final events of the sportsfest.

    Sharing the spotlight with Bondad and Merto was Dumaguete’s Carson Francis Hastie, who also collected his sixth mint in whipping Cebu’s Zhack Randolf Torreon, 6-0, in the boys’ cub division Olympic round title.

    Born in Alaska but whose family transferred back to the country when he was four, Hastie emerged as the most bemedalled archer with golds also in the 30-, 40-meter, mixed team and team events plus two silvers in the 20- and 40-meter distances.(abs-cbn sports)

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