A 13-year old athlete named Lheslie de Lima from Camsur (Bicol Athletic Region) wins the first gold medal of the Palaro 2018 in the 3,000 meter run. She dedicates her first Palarong Pambansa gold medal to detained Senator Leila de Lima, whom her lolo says is a ‘close relative.’
Rolando Merencillo, her coach, said that he saw her potential two year ago when she was in Grade V. De Lima participated in the 2016 Palaro but did not bring home any medals.
But in Antique last year, De Lima won silver in the 800 meters, 400 meters and 1,500 meters.
This was her first time in the 3,000 meters. De Lima clocked 10:06.54; narrowly beating Camila Tubiano of Region X who took 10:07.07. Grace Tejones of Region V was a far third at 10:52.9.
De Lima ran on the hot Tartan track barefooted.
“We tried to make her wear spikes but she didn’t want to,” said Merencillo.
According to the athlete: “Mabigat po,” (The shoes are heavy).
De Lima is an Grade VIII incoming student of Baao National High School. She is the 5th child of seven children. Her father is a farmer in Baao, Camarines Sur while her mother is a homemaker.