MANILA, Philippines - Action in the Batang Pinoy National Capital Region qualifying leg begins today with nine gold medals up for grabs in the centerpiece athletics at the newly refurbished Marikina Sports Center in Marikina.
First to be disputed is the 5,000-meter run to be followed by 4x100m (boys and girls), 4x400m (girls), 800m (boys and girls) and boys' long jump.
Other events on tap in the five-day, talent-search among students and out-of-school youths are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, lawn tennis, swimming, taekwondo and table tennis set in various venues in the city.
Host city Mayor Del de Guzman, Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia and commissioner Jolly Gomez and Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. graced yesterday’s inaugurals.
Also in attendance were Department of Education's NCR director Dr. Luz Almeda and superintendent Eduardo Lopez.
"With this Batang Pinoy, we hope to discover talents that we hope will comprise our national teams in the future," said Garcia, who spoke before hundreds of athletes, coaches and officials.
"Aside from discovering talents, we are creating a pool of young athletes for the national sports associations," said Gomez.
While other sports are using this leg as a qualifier for the national finals, judo and girls volleyball are already holding their national finals outright in this particular leg.
After the NCR elims, the Batang Pinoy will go to Pangasinan for the Northern Luzon stage Oct. 10-13, Oriental Mindoro for the Southern Luzon leg Oct. 24-27, Cagayan de Oro for the Mindanao leg Nov. 7-10 and Tacloban City for the Visayas leg Nov. 21-24.
The national finals will be held in Iloilo City Dec. 5-8.
Gomez said the event hopes to discover athletes who could be tapped and developed for future national teams.
"We want to create a continuous measuring stick for athletes who are too old to compete in Palaro elementary level and too young for high school," said Gomez.