By Jerome Lagunzad
There won’t be any rest for the weary but promising runner in Veruel Verdadero as he sets his sights on qualifying for the Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina this October.
After emerging as the country’s fastest teen runner in the Palarong Pambansa and the recent Ayala Philippine Athletics Championships, Verdadero, 16, intends to extent his winning streak in the Asian Youth Olympic qualifiers in Songkhla, Thailand from July 5 to 8.
The pride of Rizal is actually skipping the ASEAN School Games in Malaysia which will run smack with the Asian qualifiers.
“I really want to make it to the Youth Olympics because that’s been a dream of mine,” said Verdadero, who was named as the Most Valuable Player in the APAC juniors division for winning four gold and one silver medals.
Verdadero added that he’s also thrilled with Philippine Sports Commission’s bold plans of forming a national youth team for the very first time ahead of the 2019 Southeast Asian Youth Games which could be hosted by Ilagan City, Isabela.
In an earlier interview, Philippine Track and Field Association chief Dr. Philip Ella Juico disclosed plans are already in place in the formation of the national athletics youth team, with the Ayala group of companies serving as its main supporter.
“We have brought the idea to them and they are willing to support our initiative in every step of the way,” said Juico, adding the city government of Ilagan, which hosted the APAC for two straight years, is very much open to the possibility.
That should be nothing less than a great development for Verdadero and his fellow Young Turks like Team Dasmariñas City Athletics teammates, runners Eliza Cuyom and Jessel Lumapas, and jumper Evangelene Caminong.