Lagan City—Pole vault newcomer Maria Khrizzie Clarisse Ruzol averted a gold-medal shutout for the Philippines in the 14th Southeast Asian Youth Games opener Saturday afternoon here at the Ilagan City Sports Complex.

The 16-year old University of Santo Tomas standout leaped to a height of 2.60 meters in the girls’ pole vault to win the country’s first gold medal later in the day after a barren morning show from the Filipino youngsters. 

“It was my first time competing here in the SEA Youth so I was very nervous at first, but that nervousness was replaced with happiness with our win,” said Ruzol, whose friend Jessa Marie Libres made it a 1-2 finish.

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