Iloilo City—The Visayas Leg of the 2019 Philippine National Youth Games-Batang Pinoy unfolds today in various fronts, including medal-rich athletics and swimming at the Iloilo Sports Complex here.
A total of 14 gold medals will be staked in Day One of the track and field competition, which unfurls at 7 a.m., including the girls’ 2000-meter walk where the very first golden winner of this weeklong event for in and out-of-school youth athletes will come from.
Also staking mints early are the boys’ long jump at 8 a.m., girls’ shot put and high jump at 8:15 a.m., girls’ discus throw at 9:30 a.m. while the afternoon events will stake golds in girls’ 3000m and triple jump and boys’ discus throw at 2 p.m., girls’ 100m hurdles at 2:20 p.m., boys’ 110m hurdles at 2:30 p.m., girls’ 100m at 2:40 p.m., boys’ 100m at 2:50, girls’ 400m at 3 p.m. and boys’ 400m at 3:15 p.m.
Over at the pool, 14 golds will also be contested starting with the boys’ and girls’ 200m individual medley for 12 years old and under and 13 to 15 years old.
Other swim events in Day One are 100m freestyle (four), 50m backstroke (four), 1500m freestyle (one) and 800m free (one).
Gold medal winners are also expected to emerge in archery at the West Visayas State University field, arnis at the Iloilo Science and Technology University, karatedo at the SM City Iloilo, pencak silat at the Times Square ICC Gaisano, and taekwondo at the Robinson’s Pavia.
Other events coming off the wraps today are badminton at the Jaro Gym, baseball at the La Paz Football field, basketball and chess at the Iloilo Sports Complex covered gym, boxing at the Dungon Jaro covered court, futsal at the West Visayas State U field, lawn tennis at the La Paz court, sepak takraw, volleyball and softball at the Central Philippines University Gym, and beach volley at the Joe III Garden.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez ushered in the event that was also graced by hosts Iloilo City Mayor Joe Espinosa III and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr.
The opener was also attended by PSC Commissioners Ramon Fernandez, Charles Maxie, Celia Kiram and Arnold Agustin and national project director Atty. Guillermo Iroy.
“We’re hoping one among these children could emerge as a Manny Pacquiao, a Lydia de Vega-Mercado or an Elma Muros,” said Ramirez.
For hosting, Ramirez said Iloilo will receive P15 million worth of sports equipment. “Apart from it, we’re also making Iloilo as a training center in this region,” he said.
Some 3,000 athletes from 71 local government units across the region have come here to compete and gain a spot to the National Finals set in October this year in either Tagbilaran, Bohol or Ormoc City.
Cebu City has the biggest delegation after fielding in a strong 317-man delegation and is expected to be the LGU to watch out for since it dominated last year’s Visayas Leg in Dumaguete.
Host Iloilo is expected to come out and challenge the Cebuanos and has entered 311 athletes followed by Cebu Province with 297.”‹