A GRADE 7 student of Malayan High School of Science, Akhirah Bint Afghani P. Alonto, emerged as one of the most bemedalled athletes at the 2016 Palarong Maynila held at the Jose Abad Santos High School recently.
Alonto bagged two golds, one for the beam and another for her floor routine, and a silver for her top-notch performance on the vault. She was also the competition’s Individual All-around Champion.
Sponsored by the Department of Education, the Palarong Maynila or Manila Meet, is a school-based competition of different sporting events.
Palarong Maynila is the elimination round for the athletes in Manila who are aiming to participate in the NCR Meet and, finally the Palarong Pambansa. This year, three public and two private schools joined the Manila Meet.
“As one of the top three winners in artistic gymnastics in the high school division of Manila, Akhira will compete with the representatives of 16 other cities of the National Capital Region at the NCR Meet in February 2017,” said Ferdinand Carating, MHSS Admissions Officer.
The top three winners of the NCR Meet will then be the NCR Regional Representatives at the Palarong Pambansa, which is usually held in April.
With four years of experience in gymnastics, Alonto was the sole representative of MHSS in 2016. On the National Development Program, Australia’s evaluation system for competitive gymnastics, Alonto ranks at level six. She is also on level five of the American equivalent of the system, the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique.
Alonto is disciplined in her training. According to Carating, Alonto trains three hours a day, four times a week at the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines Gym in Rizal Memorial Sports Stadium in Manila. Alonto also trains at Club Gymnastica, her mother club gym in Pasig City. When preparing for competitions, the 11-year-old’s regimen turns more rigorous as she goes to the gym six times a week.
Carating shared that Alonto’s achievement was a happy one, though it came as a challenge for the young athlete.
“She knows all NCR representatives are good gymnasts, because they all see each other in the gym. Her discipline is also their discipline. Others are older and on a higher level than she is. But ultimately, the difference will be at the competition proper. Winners will depend on the condition of the athlete at the time of the performance,” he continued.
“Akhira has exceptional talent and must be given all-out support,” said Jocelyn Antiporda, MHSS Principal.
Antiporda further noted that MHSS’ holistic approach to education gave Alonto an edge at the Manila Meet.
“MHSS encourages students to excel both in academics and athletics. Students are exposed to different venues for their talents as well as opportunities to test their capabilities,” she said.