President Duterte attends opening ceremony as Philippine National Games set to kick off in Cebu

THE ninth edition of the Philippine National Games begin on Sunday in various sites in Cebu City and nearby towns.

No less than President Duterte on Saturday night welcomed the more than 7,000 athletes, coaches, and team officials from 96 local government units (LGUs) which also serves as a source of potential members of the national team.

The centerpiece sports of athletics and swimming will start on Sunday at the Cebu City Sports Center, with arnis, badminton, table tennis, sepak takraw, lawn tennis, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, and weightlifting also unfurling.

A Sinulog-like parade highlighted the opening rites which began at the Osmena Boulevard to the Cebu City Sports Center with Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, Cebu governor Hilario Davide, and Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmena appearing in the event.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have our President as guest of honor,” Ramirez said. “His presence is definitely a huge morale-booster to our athletes, especially now that they are looking to win the overall title in the SEA Games here in the Philippines next year.”

Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz delivered the oath of sportsmanship, with PSC commissioner and PNG overall chairman Ramon Fernandez leading the torch relay with fellow sports legends Monsour Del Rosario, Elma Muros-Posadas, Mansueto Velasco, Roel Velasco, Bong Coo, Eugene Torre, and Francisco Bustamante.

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