Christian Ampong wins Palaro Gold despite struggles
Christian Ampong took the Javelin Gold Medal at the 2018 Palarong Pambansa in Vigan for his new team NCR. Most noteworthy is that Ampong’s throw of 58.51m (@700 gram) is a big improvement on his personal best (PB).
Furthermore, the silver medalist was nearly 5 meters back at 53.87m. His PB, however, remains outside the Palaro Record of 62.47m registered by Bryan Pachecho last 2014.
Ampong’s situation is not your typical athlete poaching story but of an athlete let down by the DEPED system of his home province Zamboanga del Sur. Despite having won the Javelin Bronze at Batang Pinoy (51.46m) in 2016 and the Javelin Bronze at the SEA Youth in 2017 at Ilagan.
Ampong was still not selected for the Palarong Pambansa by Zamboanga del Sur. However, the 5’11 18-year-old from Kumularang will be 1 of 35 athletes representing the country at the 2018 ASEAN School Games (list coming shortly).
The purpose of this write-up is to inform the public that no poaching of the athlete took place in the case of Ampong, as he decided to leave on his own because he was unfairly deprived of the chance to represent ZPRAA in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa.
While DEPED has the ultimate authority to decide its final composition, Coach Jong Salinas was not the winning coach at the 2017 ZPRAA. Salinas ended up losing to Zamboanga City, his designated spot as the secondary girl’s coach of Zamboanga Del Sur.
Provincial DEPED was responsible and had full authority in selecting the secondary boy’s team as Zamboanga Del Sur won the Regional meeting in Secondary Boys.
They delegated full authority to Coach Salinas for the selection of the athletes. In the end, Salinas opted not to select Christian Ampong for the team and instead selected Mark Puspos, who was only 4th at the Regional meet (Ampong took silver in the meet). This shows inconsistent reasoning.
The Provincial Government was not at fault. Ampong is very thankful for the opportunities provided him as a budding athlete at the sports academy. This would never have been possible without the help of Governor Cerriles and his original coaches, Messrs. Ebrahim Esmael and Jomel Ogocadicon.
Coach Sy did not poach him either. Ampong chose to go to Sakya as he was deprived of going to the 2017 Palaro and did not want to risk the DEPED system blocking him again from going to Palaro.
The DepEd, via PESS Coordinator Noel Sangrenes, allowed Coach Salinas to be the boys’ coach even though he was not the winning coach. As Zamboanga Del Sur won the regionals, it was well within their right to do that. As earlier stated, Salinas opted not to select Ampong in favor of Puspos (who he coached), which was also well within his right to do so.
Salinas and Sangrenes did what was well within their rights as DEPED representatives for Palaro team selection. However, whether the selection was consistent and fair is another question altogether. Ampong left the academy and eventually went on to win the gold for NCR.
And his decision to join Sakya and team up with coach Joseph, who improved him from 53m to 58.51m, was one of the best things that ever happened to Christian Ampong.
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