MAASIN CITY, Leyte -- Gold medals in 15 sports, including centerpiece events track and field and swimming, will be disputed Wednesday at the start of the Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Olympic Committee Batang Pinoy Visayas qualifying leg.
Eighteen gold medals are at stake in track and field at the Southern Leyte Sports Complex here, while nine are up for grabs in swimming at the Leyte Sports Academy in Tacloban on Day 1 of competitions, while preliminaries will be held in several other sports.
The hosts, led by Mayor Maloney Samaco who declared no classes for one week, is fielding the most number of athletes with 213, putting in the most competitors in athletics (27), dancesports, (20) and swimming (14).
However, Cebu delegation, with has the second biggest contingent with 168, is expected to make a running start among local government units in three regions of the country in this tournament for 15 years old and younger.
PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, POC official Romy Magat, and PSC lawyer and project director Jay Alano led the opening rites Tuesday along with Mayor Samaco.
Gomez exhorted the athletes to give it their best in the competition which is the breeding ground of future national athletes, even as he commended the city for its efforts to stage the event.
Samaco welcomed the athletes and officials who are taking part, even as he vowed to stage more sporting event in this laid back, coastal city some four hours by bus from Tacloban.
Track and field will be held at the Southern Leyte Sports Complex inside the Tomas Oppus Pilot School, while swimming competitions will be at the LSA swimming stadium.
Also starting are actions in arnis at Ma. Clara Gym, badminton at DILG building, boxing and weightlifting at Maasin City Terminal, chess at RKK function house, futsal at Badian Gym, lawn tennis at Combado tennis courts and Maasin Tennis Club, pencak Silat at Pugaling Gym, sepak takraw at Combado gym, soft tennis and softball at Sunken Garden, table tennis at Asuncion Gym, and volleyball at SJC covered courts.