LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – Thirty six gold medals will be up for grabs in today’s start of the Northern Luzon leg of the Batang Pinoy Games featuring various events in centerpiece athletics at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center here.
Hostilities in the 5,000-meter run and 2,000m walk for boys at the break of dawn kick off the action in the five-day meet among student-athletes and out-of-school youths 15 years old and below.
Also to be disputed are the golds in long jump for 13-year-old girls, shot put for 14-15 boys, high jump for 14-15 girls, 2,000m walk for 13 girls and boys, long jump for 13 boys, shot put for 14-15 girls, high jump for 14-15 girls, 400m for 13 girls and boys, 400m for 14 boys and girls, long jump for 14 girls, shot put for 13 girls and high jump for 13 girls.
Other events on tap are arnis, badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, lawn tennis, swimming, taekwondo and table tennis, which will hold qualifying events with the winners advancing to the national finals in Iloilo City in December.
Sports commissioner Jolly Gomez, the overall in-charge of this nationwide talent-search, said cycling and baseball will hold their respective national finals during the meet that drew around a thousand athletes from the Northern Luzon region.
Athletics and badminton will be played at NRSCC, arnis at Pangasinan State University, boxing at Lingayen plaza, taekwondo at Pangasinan training and development center, table tennis at alley building, chess at Pangasinan provincial library, baseball at Capitol beach front, cycling on Maramba Blvd. while swimming will be held in Dagupan City.
Pangasinan will field in 300 athletes apart from separate delegations from Alaminos and Dagupan. Participants from Baguio City, La Union, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Ilocos are expected to challenge the host province for supremacy.
The Batang Pinoy Games kicked off its five-leg series last month in Marikina with the top finishers clinching berths in the national championship set Dec. 5-8 in Iloilo City.
Oriental Mindoro will host the Southern Luzon qualifier on Oct.24-27 while Cagayan de Oro will host the fourth leg on Nov. 7-10. The final leg will be held in Tacloban City for the Visayas qualifier on Nov. 21-24.
“Besides showcasing young athletes with exceptional talent, the Batang Pinoy Games here is a glimpse of future national team members capable of winning medals in international tournaments,” said Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr., who welcomed the athletes in yesterday’s simple opening rites.