by Kristel Satumbaga
Seventeen gold medals are at stake in athletics when the 2019 Palarong Pambansa blasts off today in various venues in Davao City.
The secondary girls 3000-meter run raises the curtain at 6 a.m. at the Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex, as well as final field events in the elementary and secondary boys long jump, and elementary and secondary girls discus throw.
Track events take place in the afternoon starting at 3 p.m. that include the 400m hurdles (elementary and secondary boys and girls), 100m (elementary and secondary boys and girls), elementary and secondary girls long jump, and elementary and secondary boys discus throw.
Basketball hostilities also fire off at the Rizal Memorial College and Holy Cross of Davao College, as well as elementary baseball at the Lt Villafuerte Elementary School, secondary baseball at Tacunan National High School, blitz and standard events in chess at the Davao Chong Hua High School, rhythmic gymnastics at the University of the Immaculate Conception, pencak silat at St Peter’s College of Toril and volleyball at the University of Mindanao.
National Capital Region hopes to retain its overall crown after reaping 110 gold, 70 silver and 50 bronze medals but Calabarzon and Western Visayas are big threats after finishing second and third last year.
Around 18,000 delegates trooped the city for the annual multisport event for elementary and high school students that serve as a one of the country’s grassroots sports program.