Western Visayas’ bid to overtake the National Capital Region (NCR) and Southern Tagalog (Region 4-A) gets a boost this year with the return of Negros Occidental athletes to Region 6.
A consistent placer in the top five of the medal tally, Western Visayas was No. 3 overall last year with 38 gold medals, 29 silvers, and 40 bronzes, when the school-based annual games was held in Antique.
The Negros Island Region, which saw action in the national Palaro for two years (2016 and 2017) before it was dissolved late last year, ranked No.4 overall in Antique and brought home 26 gold medals, 27 silvers, and 36 bronzes.
“It will be an exciting competition as the Negros Occidental and Panay athletes are once again joining forces for the Palarong Pambansa,” Negros Occidental Schools Sports Coordinator Romeo Sison said.
He added that Region 6 has always been a threat to the NCR, especially with the bulk of Negros Occidental athletes in its delegation.
Sison said 205 athletes from Negros Occidental, joined by 49 coaches and chaperiones, and 28 trainors along with delegation officials are in Ilocos Sur for this year’s Palarong Pambansa.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is once again attending the opening rites of the games tomorrow, just like what he did last year in Antique. The program will open with the parade of the delegates at 1 p.m. followed by a program at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Games will start on April 16 and will end on April 21.
The Western Visayas delegates are billeted at three different schools, the Bantay National High School, Bulag Elementary School, and Paeng Elementary School.
Earlier, Sison said that the athletes who will win a medal in the Palaro will receive a cash incentive from the Negros Occidental provincial government.
A total of 1,131 medals are at stake in the 23 regular sports events, 14 in elementary and 19 in secondary, in this year’s national games.*NAB
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