MANILA – National athlete Bernalyn Bejoy ruled the 400m event as De La Salle stayed on top of the women's division on Day 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 athletics competition at the Philsports track oval in Pasig City.
The 23-year-old runner from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental bagged the gold medal in a thrilling photo finish over teammate Jessel Lumapas. Both clocked 55.75 seconds.
National University's (NU) Lenlyn Sanita (57.67s) settled for the bronze.
Benjoy now has two medals, including a bronze in the 200m on Thursday.
"It was my first time to compete in the 200m. I did not expect to get a medal because it was not my event. But for giving my all-out best, I just believed in myself," said Bejoy, a graduate of the Romanito P. Maravilla Sr. National High School.
"In the 400m, it's the main event for me and Jessel. Whoever wins, it's okay because it's for La Salle. I just pushed in the last 50 meters. I didn't see that I beat her. No hurt feelings because we both helped the team."
Lumapas bounced back later in the day, winning the 4x100m relay gold medal with Trexie dela Torre, Hannah Delotavo, and Erica Ruto.
The Taft-based squad registered a league-best 47.02 seconds to prevail over Far Eastern University (47.39s) and the University of Santo Tomas (48.29s).
Daniela Daynata added one more gold for La Salle, setting a new UAAP record of 44.81 meters in the discus throw. NU's Jane Cambonga (39.65m) and University of the East's (UE) Kassandra Alcantara (38.50m) placed second and third, respectively.
Other winners were Ateneo's Jia Kawachi (pole vault) and the University of the Philippines' (UP) Sally Campus (3000m walk).
Meanwhile, UP kept the lead in the men's division with five golds, five silvers, and three bronze medals.
Alhryan Labita registered a personal best time of 48.00 seconds to rule the 400m and annexed the 4x100m relay title with John Carlo Yuzon, Clint Niño Neri, and Gene Ordinario.
The Fighting Maroons clocked 41.90 seconds to claim the gold medal, the NU Bulldogs (42.61s) got the silver, and the UE Red Warriors (42.84s) secured the bronze. (PNA)