Published in Sun Star Newspaper on August 26, 2012 Sunday issue
by Marian C. Baring, Staff Writer
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor
AT FIRST glance, no one would bother giving her much of a care. She was, after all, the smallest girl at the starting line of the 1,500-meter run. Her pigtails did not help make her look more menacing either.
But among her peers, Joneza Mie Sustituedo, the diminutive runner from Iloilo, was the one they were gauging their runs against yesterday in the athletics event of the Milo Little Olympics.
A multiple record breaker of the Palarong Pambansa, Sustituedo zoomed out of the pack and left everyone eating her dust bent on her target of making a record in the Milo Little Olympics in her first attempt.
“Andito po ako para makagawa ng record. First time ko po kasi sa Milo Little Olympics. Sana maka record ako,” said the 10-year-old from Iloilo National High School (INHS).
Sustituedo holds the record in the 3,000-meter run and the 800-meter run in the Palarong Pambansa. When she was still in the elementary division, she broke a record in the 1,500-meter run in 2009 and broke it again in 2010.
Yesterday, she won the 1,500m run and crossed the finish almost uncontested, posting five minutes and 7.32 seconds for a good five-second lead over Pajo National High School’s Lovely Fe Andrin.
Crizel Diongson of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation came in third at 5:20:48.
Organizers of the Milo Little Olympics have been raring to get the athletics powerhouse Iloilo to join the regional eliminations.
“We wanted our athletes to gauge themselves against some really tough opponents. Sometimes, if they get no challenge, they resign to working hard at a level that is mediocre,” said Ricky Ballesteros.
Ballesteros said they managed to convince Iloilo to join the event after promising to help with their expenses.
“I told them na ilaha lang ang plete and kami na bahala sa food and accommodation nila,” he said.
It may be a huge pressure for the Iloilo squad. They did not disappoint... Read more