by Ofelia C. Empian
Baguio’s over 300 athletes will test their mettle once again in the 2015 edition of the Philippine National Games slated from July 2 to 6 at the Philippine Sports Arena in Pasig City.
City Sports Coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said the city will send 326 athletes with their coaches and sports officials to the biggest sporting event in the country.
He said the city will bring athletes in various disciplines including archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, taekwondo, wushu, and the Philippine Sports Association for the differently-abled (PhilSPADA), which has athletics, chess, and swimming events, to join the qualifying events.
He said the national finals for the qualifying events will be next year.
Also competing are local athletes in arnis, judo, wrestling, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, beach volleyball, and dance sport to compete in the national finals.
Gonzales said the athletes that the city will send are those who have proven themselves in various competitions in their respective sports.
“We look at their track records before we send them,” he said adding Baguio has always been a top contender in the PNG.
Several Palarong Pambansa gold medalists will also join PNG along with most bemedalled athlete, Loren Chloe Balaoing, who won five gold medals in archery in the group and team events.
Last year, the city gained 59 gold, 60 silver, and 54 bronze medals, with athletes competing against 8,439 athletes from 494 local government units who played in 46 sports.
The PNG is an annual multi-sport tournament organized by the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee to serve as the ultimate challenge for athletes in the country to bring out the best of the national and emerging teams.
The event acts as the main source of possible composition of national pool athletes that will compete in international tournaments such as the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and the Olympics.
Later this year, the city’s athletes for Muay Thai and pencak silat will also join the PNG Visayas leg from Nov. 7 to 14. Futsal and softball teams will also join the PNG Mindanao leg in Zamboanga del Sur from Sept. 7 to 14.