By Jean Malanum

FIRST GOLD. Former national athlete Aira Teodosio displays her awesome form in the women’s open discus throw final in the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships at the Ilagan City Sports Complex on Wednesday (March 22, 2023). She won the gold medal in 38.46 meters. (Courtesy of PATAFA)

ILAGAN CITY, Isabela – Former national athlete Aira Teodosio delivered the first gold medal in the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships when she topped the women’s open discus throw event at the Ilagan City Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

The native of Silay, Negros Occidental registered 38.46 meters to beat University of the Philippines bet Chrizzel Lanipa (35.44) and Kenneth Grace Ferrera of the Philippine Air Force (34.03).

“I didn’t expect to win, I thought I have foreign opponents,” said the 25-year-old Teodosio, who is representing City of Ilagan in the five-day tournament participated by athletes from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Iraq.

She is optimistic about her chances in the shot put and hammer throw, saying “I am in good condition. I am at my peak now. I am ready.”

The shot put event is scheduled for Thursday while the hammer throw will be on Saturday.

Teodosio finished fourth in the hammer throw in the 2019 Manila SEA Games where she posted a personal best of 47.13 meters.

“I want to perform well in this tournament. I am hoping to return to the national team,” Teodosio said.

Meanwhile, Mark Paladius of Malaysia bagged the men’s under-20 long jump gold medal in 6.84 meters. Ranchard Pagulayan (UST) got the silver medal (6.80) and Alvin Lopez Jr. of La Paz Tracksters settled for the bronze medal (6.75).

In the girls’ under-18 category, Jocelle Lesli (City of Ilagan) won the shot put in 8.35 meters. Kelly Mariz (Tuguegarao City) placed second (7.74) followed by Jhennah Mae Guillermo (7.66). (PNA)