SAN CARLOS CITY — A resurgent Dagupan City now leads in the medal tally in the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet here, hauling down 34 gold, 22 silver and 20 bronze medals as of 6:00 p.m. of Wednesday, after three days of competition and with three more days to go in the yearly meet organized by the Department of Education.

Known by its name as Balon Dagupan Team, Dagupan City dominated in swimming, taking advantage over its familiarity on the Dagupan City Olympic-size swimming pool, the venue of the swimming event in 2016 IRAA Meet, where it captured 18 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze medals so far.

With a harvest of 34 gold, 22 silver and 20 bronze medals after only three days of action, Dagupan already surpassed its 18 gold output in last year’s R1AA held in Manaoag, Pangasinan where it was seventh in the standing.

Pangasinan II is in far second in the overall standing with 24 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals, followed by La Union with 19 gold, 22 silver and 26 bronze; with perennial RIAA meet champion Ilocos Norte in fourth with 12 gold, 21 silver and 21 bronze medals.

Explaining Dagupan’s resurgence in R1AA Meet, Finnela T. Sim, commissioner of the Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC), said she believes that the city’s performance this year has further improved owing to the comprehensive training that the athletes went through since the city started its B.T.F. Does it program, the support of the local government unit especially of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and the cooperation of the Schools Division Superintendent, Froserfina J. Bravo.

“I believe our sports program is gaining ground after we implemented a comprehensive sports program which led to the comprehensive training and development of our athletes especially when Mayor Belen (Fernandez) created the Dagupan City Sports Commission and redirected the city’s sports financial assistance directly to the athletes and coaches and hired trainors who helped us in training our athletes and their coaches,” said Sim who trained the Dagupan Swimming Team and once a member of the De La Salle University swimming team.

Sim specifically noted improvement in the city’s performance in swimming as well as arnis, gymnastics and chess.

“We never had a medal before in the chess event in the R1AA, but this year we have at least a silver medal and in almost all events ay mayroon na tayong nakukuhang medals,” said Sim.

She is hoping that at the end of the R1AA and with the kind of performance that the Balon Dagupan Team is showing, “there can be no doubt that we can double the number of our gold medals compared to last year’s”.

Sim disclosed that the Balon Dagupan team has a strong basketball team both in elementary and secondary divisions’ boys and girls and also in volleyball as it remained undefeated as of press time.

Trailing Ilocos Norte in the medal tally is San Fernando City with 12 gold, 19 silver and nine bronze medals, followed by Urdaneta City with 11 gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals; Laoag City – six gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals; Pangasinan – six gold, seven silver and 12 bronze medals; Alaminos City – four gold, two silver and seven bonze medals; San Carlos City – three gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals; Batac City – three gold, six silver and four bronze medals; Ilocos Sur – three gold, four silver and 2 bronze medals; Candon City – three gold, two silver and two bronze medals and Vigan City – two gold, zero silver and one bronze medals. PNA/northboundasia.com