Category Archives: Arafura Games

Arafura Games: Athlete numbers top 2,300; official tune hits the mark

Arafura Games on May 7 to 14 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Athlete numbers top 2300

More than 2300 athletes have registered for the 20 sports to be played at this year’s Games – Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Football, Golf, Hockey, International Lifesaving, Muay Thai, Sepak Takraw, Clay Target Shooting, IPSC and ISSF Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Triathlon, Volleyball and Weightlifting.
Boxing is very popular this year with 180 registered athletes from more than 10 nations.

Despite terrible devastation after the earthquakes and the tsunami, Japan is sending a contingent of 13 sportsmen and women to the 2011 Arafura Games.

The biggest contingent from overseas nations will come from Malaysia with more than 270 athletes, and Macau and Indonesia with almost 230 competitors each.

Arafura Anthem: Official tune hits the mark

For the first time in the history of the Arafura Games the 2011 Games have their very own song – an anthemic arrangement that features famous Saltwater Band lead singer Manuel Nulupani Dhurrkay.
Manuel’s unique vocal talents have produced a song that is set to be a highlight at this year’s Opening Ceremony when he teams up with Jessica Mauboy to sing a much anticipated duet..

Arafura Anthem is a remake of Saltwater Band’s Arafura Sea, a song that features on the iPod presented to US President Barack Obama by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during her visit earlier this year. Arafura Anthem can be purchased on iTunes for $1.69


ARAFURA GAMES: Hot start ends in cold waters

ARAFURA GAMES Hot start ends in cold waters

By Neil Bravo

DARWIN, N.T., AUSTRALIA—The vaunted “Sleepless Swimmers” ended their hot start here with a dose of cold water.

After splashing for two silvers and 12 bronzes, the bling-bling count stopped for good for the gutsy tankers in the 2009 Arafura Games as the freezing Wednesday morning Darwin weather got the better of them in the open water competitions at Lake Bennett.

Tiara Bebony Tudio, an upstart from Gen. Santos City, could only finish 15th in the tough 5-kilometer open water swimming, clocking 1 hour, 17 minutes and 18.27 seconds. Camyl Evangelista went second to last at 17th with 1:36:53.95 also in the girls side.

Northern Territory’s Rachel McLean was the only swimmer to break the hour barrier with a time of 57 minutes 42.6 seconds for the gold medal.

She made it double gold by winning the 17-Over 10-k girls event in one hour, 58 minutes 10.05 seconds.

Ewil Plasabas, the lone entry in the boys 5-k class, finished a distant 16th, with 1 hour, 7 minutes and 4.26 seconds.The race was won by Logan Kirean of Queensland in 57 minutes, 34.24 seconds. Max Thorn of Surrey Park won the gold in the 10-k event in 1:58-01.83.

Haroon Cali and Allan Jovero, winners of the twin silver medals won by the delegation alongside 6 bronzes, decided to skip the event.

“Masyadong malamig,” said Cali after waking up to a frosty morning here.

Jovero’s medal bling up to 6, 2 more bronzes for Cali

Two silvers. Councilor Pete Lavina (center) with silver medalist Allan Jovero and tourism secotr representative Ruben Neri.
Two silvers. Councilor Pete Lavina (center) with silver medalist Allan Jovero and tourism secotr representative Ruben Neri.
Allan Jovero.
Allan Jovero.
haroon bronze. Team Philippines-Davao's Haroon Cali (extreme right) with New Caledonia's Jean Baptiste Lhuillier and NT's Josh Barnes.
haroon bronze. Team Philippines-Davao's Haroon Cali (extreme right) with New Caledonia's Jean Baptiste Lhuillier and NT's Josh Barnes.
interview. RP's "Sleepless Swimmers" Allan Jovero of Davao and Tiarra Bebony Tudio of Gen. Santos with RP special Consul General John Rivas and wife Edna interviewed by The Territorian News.
interview. RP's "Sleepless Swimmers" Allan Jovero of Davao and Tiarra Bebony Tudio of Gen. Santos with RP special Consul General John Rivas and wife Edna interviewed by The Territorian News.
Top 3. Allan Jovero with gold medalist Scott Burcke of Queensland and silver medalist Michael Barker of NT.
Top 3. Allan Jovero with gold medalist Scott Burcke of Queensland and silver medalist Michael Barker of NT.


Jovero’s medal bling up to 6, 2 more bronzes for Cali

By Neil Bravo

DARWIN, N.T., AUSTRALIA—Davao’s “Sleepless Swimmers” finally caught the attention of the competition and the press here, proving their amazing medal harvest in the 2009 Arafura Games was no fluke by adding three more bronzes and a silver on Tuesday.

A crew from Darwin’s leading daily, The Territorian, and another from the Australian Broadcasting Station, visited the Philippines-Davao delegation inside the sprawling Casuarina swimming complex to catch some photos with the crack swimmers known here for splashing straight to the pool after a sleepless flight from Singapore.

Philippine special consul John Rivas was also around to personally congratulate the swimmers.

Allan Jovero and Tiarra Bebony Tudio wore their new blings. Jovero draped a silver and four bronzes around his neck while Tudio displayed three.

Haroon Cali and Ewil Plasabas were already in the warm-up pool and had to miss the interview and photo ops session.

But Cali spent his time wisely though, quickly finishing his two finals events and struck for two more bronze blings in the 200m butterfly and the 200m individual medley for the premium 17-over boys division.

Kieran Logan of Queensland topped the 200m fly event in 2:14.78, Eugene Tee of Surrey Park in second with 2:18.02 while Cali finished with 2:19.48.

He came back later for another crack at the elusive gold but came short of playing the national anthem here as he bowed to French sensation Jean Baptiste L’huillier in the 200m IM.

Cali, a swimming and aerobics instructor back in Davao, clocked 2:23.45 for his second bronze while L’huillier, who looks like a junior-sized Conan, finished in 2:16.57 while Josh Barnes of Northern Territory took the silver in 2:22.92.

Jovero, egged on to make the last push for the national anthem rites, tried hard to give the delegation its first gold despite swimming in lane 1 but he ran smack into his perennial rival Scott Van Burck who won by an arm’s length in 1:03.66.

Jovero, a standout from the University of the Philippines, finished in 1:07.74 to settle for the silver. After Jovero’s futile try, the delegation’s last chance of a gold rested on Panabo City prodigy Ewil Plasabas in the boys 50-m breaststroke after topping the heats.

However, he too ran smack into New Caledonian L’huillier and succumbed to third place in 32.82. L’huillier proved to be the meet’s swimming sensation with a 31.51 clocking for the gold although this was not close to eclipsing the meet’s mark of 30.23 set by Malaysia’s Elvin Chia in 1995.

In the meet’s Invitationals, a final 100-m freestle contest among the fastest swimmers in the competition, Jovero could only finish fourth with a time 58.48. Burck emerged as the meet’s fastest man with 54.52, a far cry from Northern Territory’s All-Comers record of 51.09 set by Greg Fasala in September 9, 1983.

Overall, the Philippines-Davao contingent dropped to 15th spot after three days with 3 silvers and 12 bronzes. New Caledonia continues to hold sway with a 20-19-16 haul, followed by New Zealand 11-19-17, Singapore (10-6-4), Indonesia (7-8-10), and Malaysia (5-2-1). Rounding up the top 15 are Macau (3-2-0), Chinese Taipei (3-0-0), Papua New Guinea (2-4-6), French Polynesia (2-3-1), Brunei Darussalam (1-2-2), Marshall Islands (1-2-0), Fiji (1-2-0), Japan (1-1-1) and United Arab Emirates (1-0-2).

ARAFURA GAMES: Another Davao swimmer shines

a jovero


Another Davao swimmer shines

By Neil Bravo

DARWIN, N.T., AUSTRALIA—With all the troubles behind the derailed Philippines-Davao delegation, another swimmer made his mark at the pool here on Tuesday raking home a silver medal and adding another bronze to his growing collection in the 2009 Arafura Games.

Allan Jovero, who was stranded in Manila for nearly 17 hours to wait for his visa, and another 36 hours in Singapore, added a silver medal in the 50-m butterfly with a clocking of 27.84 next to his chief rival Scott Burck of Queensland who finished the race in 26.33. Ian Nakmai of Papua New Guinea took the bronze in 28.29.

Jovero earlier took another bronze in the boys 17 and over freestyle with a swim of 57.57 seconds. Burck wound up with the silver in 53.56 while Lhuillier Jean Baptist bagged the gold in 53.30.

After two days of competition, Jovero already has one silver and four bronzes to his name despite competing in the first day almost sleepless and whisked practically straight from the airport to the pool.

Ewil Plasabas, a gold medallist in the Brunei EAGA Friendship Games, could fare no better than two bronze medals for the day as he ran smack into a tough competition.

The Panabao City swimmer took the bronze in the 200-m breastroke in 2:37.02 behind silver medallist Josh Barnes of Northern Territory (2:34.28) and Romaine Berthaud of France who took the gold in 2:34.01. Plasabas also came back later to win another bronze in the 100-m breastroke in 1:11.23.

PNG’s Nakmai won a silver in 1:10.48 while France’s golden boy Jean Baptiste Lhuillier took another gold in 1:10.37.

Gen. Santos City’s Tiarra Bebony Tudio fished a second bronze medal in the 200-m breastroke for girls to hike his personal haul to a couple of bronzes although she fared a lowly 27th in the 100-m free. Li-an Cantil finished 8th in the girls 50-m freestyle.

Despite the medal harvest in swimming, Team Philippines-Davao dropped from 5th overnight to 11th, allowing EAGA neighbours Indonesia (10th), Malaysia (9th) and Brunei (8th) to overtake. Philippines has a 2 silver, 9 bronze tally to slide out of the top ten.

Indonesia barged into the top 10 with 5 silvers and 6 bronzes, Malaysia is in 9th with a gold to show, and Brunei (8th) with 1gold and 2 bronzes.

New Caledonia (11-7-12) continued to hold sway here in the three-day old meet among 30 nations and close to 3,000 athletes. New Zealand is at second with 7-10-12 and Singapore at third with 6-3-1. Macau-China (2-2-0), French Polynesia (1-3-0), Papua New Guinea (1-1-3) and Marshall Islands (1-1-0) round up the top ten.

On Monday, Haroon Cali won a silver to start the medal juggernaut for Team RP-Davao. Cali will attempt to add a medal on Wednesday, the last day of swimming competitions.

Councilor Peter Lavina, who attended the Sports Conference at the Darwin Convention Center, congratulated the winners for their efforts.

“So far, so good.” Davao’s participation here is funded by the City Government through Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, the City Sports Development Office. The other non-Davao entries are funded by their local government counterparts.

burck and jovero

jovero 2

Davao swimmers splash for 4 medals,GenSan girl bags bronze in Arafura

Davao swimmers splash for 4 medals,GenSan girl bags bronze in Arafura
By Neil Bravo

DARWIN, N.T. AUSTRALIA—Davao swimmers Haroon Cali and Allan Jovero bagged three medals in the 2009 Arafura Games here just as swiftly as they slept.

The two tankers from Davao City spent a few minutes of naps in between the giddy four-hour flight from Singapore, had a quick breakfast of toast and juice on arrival before being whisked quickly to the pool for competition.

Not an easy thing to do considering these boys are not used to long flights before competitions.

At the end of the day, Cali barely missed the gold by an arm and Jovero had three bronze medals draping on his neck. Not bad for a team decimated by last minute pullouts, visa and funding delays.

The 21-year old Cali finished with a silver medal in the 17 and over 50-m backstroke with a 30.15 seconds clocking while Jovero checked in at third for a bronze in 31.07. Scott Van Burck of Queensland frustrated the Davao tankers with an amazing swim in the finals in 29.12. Cali had earlier topped the morning heats with Van Burck in second position.

Earlier, Van Burck also blew away Jovero in the boys 17 and over 100-m butterfly with a fast time of 59.32 while Northern Territory’s Josh Barnes came in a distant second with 1:04.85. Jovero came in with 1:05.29 for bronze.

Jean Baptiste L’Huillier of Caledonia frustrated Van Burck in the boys 17 and over 50-m free style with a swim of 24.41 seconds while Van Burck settled for silver with 24.47 and Jovero booked another bronze with 26.14.

The triple bronze feat of Jovero came after he endured some visa glitch in Manila and had to stay behind for half a day to await his visa. He caught up with the delegation in Singapore Friday afternoon.

“Mabuti na lang at nanalo pa ng medal si Allan. I was so worried dahil di nga nakatulog ang mga bata,” said Allan’s mother Leah, who along with co-parents Rosalinda Tudio and Judy Ann Cantil, personally attended to their sons and daughters and monitored the clockings of the competition.

General Santos City’s Tiara Bebony Tudio also booked herself a bronze medal in the tough girls 13-14 50-m breaststroke finishing third with a 37.74 clocking. Montana Colreavy of West Australia won the gold in 36.27 while Lily Burrow of Northern Territory was second in 36.93.

Councilor Peter Lavina immediately sent his message of congratulations to the medallists. “Despite the odds, we were able to make it. We’re proud of them,” Lavina said. Lavina, who also heads the Davao City Sports Council, and fellow councilor Rachel Zozobrado, arrived with the delegation here.

The Davao delegation is backed up by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice Mayor Sara Duterte through the City Sports Development Office headed by chief of staff Bong Go.(NJB)

RP delegation derailed in S’pore, misses Arafura Opening Program

RP delegation derailed in S’pore, misses Arafura Opening Program

By Neil Bravo

DARWIN, N.T., AUSTRALIA—The lean 20-man Team Mindanao-Philippines led by head of delegation and city councillor Pete Laviña finally arrived here early Sunday morning after a long 36-hour stopover in Singapore and missing the Opening Ceremonies by 12 hours.

Met by Philippine Consul to Darwin, John Rivas, and some Filipino well-wishers, the delegation composed mostly of swimmers will be competing at the pool in two hours.

“It was a wonderful Opening Program, and we were both happy and sad. Happy because it was another exciting presentation but ”sad, because you weren’t there.”

Laviña rued the long and gruelling trip, punctuated by stormy weather in Manila and in the flight to Singapore, but wished the athletes well, “just give it your best. I know how hard it is to swim without having a good sleep. But try just as well and we will be behind you.”

The delegation began its Arafura journey last May 7 with a late night flight to Manila. The contingent stayed in the NAIA airport Terminal 3 without the comforts of sleep and tropical depression Emong making the flight more gruelling.

Another stormy trip to Singapore affected the athletes deeply, and although they had a long stopover, the flight to Darwin was no different.

“Nakakahilo pa rin,” said swimmer Haroon Cali, 21. The Davao City delegationis supported by the city government through Bong Go, chef of staff of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.