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Palaro under way

SPORTS heroes carry the huge Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa yesterday at the President Elpidio Quirino stadium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. From left: bowler Paeng Nepomuceno, trackster Elma Muros,  billiards legend Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, archer Gab Moreno, boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and chess icon Eugene Torre. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

SPORTS heroes carry the huge Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa yesterday at the President Elpidio Quirino stadium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. From left: bowler Paeng Nepomuceno, trackster Elma Muros, billiards legend Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, archer Gab Moreno, boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and chess icon Eugene Torre. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

by Kristel Satumbaga

VIGAN, Ilocos Sur – Thirteen gold medals are at stake in athletics today when the 2018 Palarong Pambansa fires off in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The secondary girls 3000 meters kicks off action at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium along with secondary boys and girls javelin throw, elementary girls and boys shot put, secondary boys, elementary boys triple jump and elementary girls long jump.

Special games in long jump (ID 16 to 25 years old), 100 meters (ID 15-below and VI) and shot put (VI and OH) will also be contested.

Basketball action, likewise, fires off starting at 7:30 a.m. at the San Ildefonso covered court and at the Quirino Stadium.

The seven-round blitz event in chess also unfolds at 11 a.m. today at the Baluarte, as well as futsal, table tennis, wrestling and wushu.

Ball games such as volleyball, baseball and softball already started, as well as lawn tennis.

Centerpiece swimming competitions, meanwhile, will start tomorrow also at the Quirino Stadium, will 16 gold medals at stake on opening day, as well as badminton and archery.

The multi-event formally opened yesterday with a colorful and exciting ceremony highlighted by a skydiving exhibition from the members of the Armed Forces.

Participants from 17 regions also paraded around the statium with their colors and salute performances.

Also highlighting the ceremony is the carrying of the Philippine flag by some of the country’s sports icons Hidilyn Diaz, Paeng Nepomuceno, Onyok Velasco, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Eugene Torre, Gab Moreno and Elma Muros-Posadas.

Professional volleyball player Stephanie Mercado also accepted the citation award in behalf of her mother, legendary trackster Lydia De Vega-Mercado, who was given the Palarong Pambansa Lifetime Achievement Award.

Along with the citation, De Vega-Mercado will also receive R50,000 from the Department of Education and another R50,000 from Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education officially announced that Davao City as next year’s host.

Davao City edged Zamboanga Del Sur and Misamis Occidental on Saturday’s final bidding held at the Vigan City Convention Center presided by DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

DepEd cited Davao City’s readiness to host such a multi-sport event with its modern sports facilities, as well as the city’s safety for the thousands of student-athletes and officials who are annually participating.

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