MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL, OCTOBER 21, 2003 (MALAYA) By MARIVIC AWITAN  - Koronadal made a big jump to second in the overall standings through swimming siblings Ismael Jade and Izah Sueno even as defending champion Davao City continued its surge Monday in the 3rd Mindanao Games at the Mati Centennial Sports Complex here.

Izah, who won a gold for La Salle in the recent UAAP swim meet, clocked 5:17.54 to rule the 400-meter freestyle and 2:46.15 in dominating the 400-m individual medley. Ismael Jade, at 18 a year older than Izah, took the individual medley gold medal with a time of two minutes, 22.72 seconds and topped the 50-m freestyle in 25.39.

The Suenos later said they are dedicating their wins to elder sister Ivy Joy, who set aside her dreams to swim for the national squad to pursue a medical career.

"Inspirasyon po namin ang ate namin kasi ho natigil siya sa paglalaro para mag-medicine. Mahirap ho kasing maging doktor," said Izah of their 27-year-old sister who swam in the Palarong Pambansa and is now a doctor at East Avenue Medical Center.

Teresa Simora won the 50-m backstroke in 37.97 seconds, jacking up Koronadal's gold medal haul to five, one shy of Davao City's output for the day.

The Davao City bets won four swimming events courtesy of Norton Alamara in men's 50-m breaststroke (31.87), Carlo Rodriguez in men's 100-m butterfly (1:01.47), Corrina Rosete in the women's 100-m butterfly (1:14.71) and the men's 400-m freestyle relay team (4:02.80).

Gymnast John Mark Palma topped the men's individual all around event while Darel Joie Sullano bagged the first athletics gold medal, ruling the women's jong jump.

The defending champions stayed well ahead with nine gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals while Koronadal has a 5-3-2 output. Iligan City, Davao City's closest rival last year, vaulted to third with a 4-2-6 output, boosted by the sterling performance of crowd favorite Monique Bacolod who became the first triple-gold winner of the event.

Bacolod, 14, a second year high school student at La Salle Academy in Iligan, ruled two of her first three individual events and anchored the 400-m freestyle relay team in leading Iligan's title retention bid in swimming.

Despite nursing a left knee injury, the lovely young lass topped the women's 100-m backstroke in one minute, 13.52 seconds and the women's 50-m freestyle in 30 seconds flat for her two individual gold medals.

She was beaten by Sueno and settled for the silver medal with a 2:49.93 performance in the 200-m.

She later joined teammates Shahani Navarro, Nianh Lyn Acain and Sola Viste in ruling the 400-m freestyle relay in four minutes 41.09 seconds.

Bukidnon, second after the opening day, slipped to fifth with a 2-1-1 gold-silver-bronze haul behind Gene. Santos City at 2-2-1. Panabo City was sixth with one gold and one silver medal followed by Cotabato City (1-0-0), Misamis Oriental (0-1-0), Davao Oriental (0-0-2), Zamboanga City (0-0-1) and Malaybalay (0-0-1).

Riders Datu Sinsuat and his uncle Datu Radin Ampatuan completed a 1-2 finish in the downhill competition of the mountain bike held at Sitio Baso in Barangay Badas for Cotabato City's first two medals.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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