BACOLOD CITY – A petite, barefooted daughter of a vendor from Lambunao, Iloilo broke the existing Palarong Pambansa record in the secondary girl’s 3,000 meters in the ongoing 2012 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) meet held at Panaad Park and sports stadium oval here.
At four feet and 11 inches, Joneza Mae Sustituedo still would not wear whatever new spike shoes given her. Now a 13-year-old first year high school student of Sun Yat Sen High School in Iloilo City, she booked the new Palarong Pambansa record in the 3,000-meter event by clocking 10 minutes, 35.31 seconds.
She erased the Palaro record of 10:40.68 set by Mary Jane Campos of Central Visayas in the 2000 Centennial Palaro held in the same venue here.
Guimaras’ Joida Gagnao settled for silver (10:50.06), while Negros Jelyn Duran (11:43.37) took the bronze medal.
A cinch for another record breaking feat, Sustituedo will be back again to the oval Thursday in the secondary girls’ 1,500, the event she ruled also in a record feat in last year’s Palaro in Dapitan City.
As a 12-year-old graduating elementary pupil of Don Eugenio Ladrido Elementary School in Lambunao last year, she broke loose at the opening gun to register a new record of 4 minutes 56.93 seconds in elementary girls’ 1,500 meters to eclipse her own 2010 Palarong Pambansa record of 4:57.69 established in Tarlac.
Before that, she also ruled the event in the 2010 WVRAA in Makato, Aklan, in 4:57.68 seconds.
She was first discovered when she joined the district meet at age 10, and won her first event that led her to be part of the Western Visayas delegation to the Department of Education-run Palarong Pambansa. She broke the record in her first appearance.