By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
BUTUAN City – A young gymnast from this city brought home gold, bronze and overall silver medals from the recently concluded Batang Pinoy national championships in Palawan.
Thirteen-year-old Britney Dweyne Chou, bagged two gold medals for the ball and club apparatus and a bronze for the rope apparatus. That made her rank second and bag a silver medal, overall, in the junior gymnastics during the national gymnastics competition.
Chou is one of the close to 6,000 athletes, that represented 243 local governments, to compete in the Batang Pinoy in Puerto Princesa, Palawan from Aug. 26 to Aug. 31.
A victorious Chou returned to this city Tuesday and called her feat a step further towards her goal of becoming a part of the national team when she turns 16.
“Right now, I will go back to work in training harder and work more on my routines — there is still room for improvements. All I need is to practice more and dedicate more of my time. I still have several competitions to expect and hopefully, when I reach the age of 16, I would qualify to be in the Philippine team,” said Chou.
Chou who started gymnastics at the age of eight racked up her achievements over the years. She took part in international gymnastics competitions.
This June 22, Chou ranked second place in the total individual all-around under the Level 9 category of the Queensland State Challenge in Australia. Last year, she competed in Hong Kong and then in Thailand.
Dayanara Gail Arandela, head coach of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, said, “We have seen Chou’s huge potentials. With proper and regular training, she will go a long way, and she can go against top gymnasts here and abroad.”
Arandela noted that the only problem with Chou’s training is the distance of Butuan City and Manila, adding that consistent training would require her to be in Manila often.
Chou’s mother Jennifer said her family continues to support the young gymnast although her constant travels were expensive.
“Her goal is to become part of the Philippine team one day, and we will be here for her, giving our full support,” she said.
Jennifer said her daughter’s potentials became evident to a local coach when she was eight years old and so “in 2016, we brought her to Manila to have her trained by a professional gymnastic coach.”
She said her daughter has been consistent in her performance in competitions and because of that her family is more determined to give her more support.
Chou would go back to training as she sets her target for the Philippine National Games in 2020.