SAMARINDA, East Kalimantan – A lady thrower from Davao City gave Team Philippines it first medal as hostilities for the 9th BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asian Growth Area) Friendship Games went full blast Thursday here.
Twenty-year-old Irish Marquez won the bronze in javelin throw with a distance of 34.44 meters at the Stadion Madya Sempaja, kicking off the country’s campaign in the biennial meet staged for the first time in this capital of the province of East Kalimantan in the island of Borneo.
“This was my first time to compete in an international event. With proper training and equipment, I believe I can do better next time,” said Marquez.
The feat of Marquez, a third year criminology student at the Holy Cross of Davao College, stood as the best performance for the country thus far in the six-day meet.
But, it was fine start of sorts for a tired Philippine delegation who have to endure a long trip to make it to the sports competition.
The athletes and officials arrived in two batches, with the Davao City contingent setting foot in this city located within the banks of the Mahakam River Thursday afternoon and the Palawan group arriving an hour later.
Without much rest, the Philippine delegation then joined the opening ceremonies later in the night at the Sempaja Convention Hall.
Although tired and weary, the Filipino athletes are in high spirits.
The 110-member Philippine delegation, headed by chef de mission PSC Commissioner Charles Maxey, are billeted at the Selyca Mulia Hotel and seeing action in athletics, archery, lawn tennis, table tennis, sepak takraw, badminton basketball, beach volleyball and karatedo.
All 11 sports disciplines are being played in various venues.