THE Central Visayas Athletic Association (Cviraa) will look to capture its first medal in the 60th Palarong Pambansa, counting on the finesse athletes in gymnastics which started yesterday at the EBJ Sports Center here at the Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista.
The national sporting conclave will have the opening ceremony at the Binirayan Sports Complex on Sunday that will possibly attended by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. But the gymnastics competition started early since the venue will be used for other sporting event.
The gymnastic squad of Region 7 is represented by 18 athletes that mostly come from Cebu City. As of press time, the qualifying round is still ongoing.
Cviraa’s rhythmic gymnastics coach Darlene Dela Pisa told SunStar Cebu in an interview that the team stands a strong chance in the secondary division, and can also compete in the elementary class.
“In the secondary level, my expectation is high. I think my three girls can make it to the finals. But ultimately, it will be decided by the judges’ scores,” said Dela Pisa who’s referring to formidable gymnasts Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa, Marian Alegado and Alexansandra Victoria Cruz.
“In the elementary division, I think we can also compete. We have two first timers and our goal is at least make it to the finals,” she added.
The gymnastics team of Cebu City bagged the most gold medal in the regional meet with 34 golds last February. They’re looking to continue the standout performance in the national level.
“The training continued after Cviraa. We rested only for one week. We hope to get a good outcome for this year’s Palarong Pambansa,” said Dela Pisa.
The gymnasts who performed their qualfying rounds yesterday were Leanne Marie Manning and Theresia Rhosse Regner in the elementary division, while Cruz, Dela Pisa and Alegado displayed prowess in the secondary class.
Aside from gymnastics, the athletes of Cviraa will be competing in athletics, archery, arnis badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, lawn tennis, volleyball, wushu, futsal, billiard and wrestling.
Meanwhile, Dr. Luz Jandayan, the chief of Education Support Service Division of Department of Education Region 7, told SunStar Cebu in a separate interview that delegates of Region 7 have their own mattress and toiletries. She said that the billeting center at University of Antique-Sibalom Campus also had enough water supply for the delegates.
Thousands of athletes coming from 18 different regions are in Antique for the annual national sporting event. Region 7 was ranked fourth overall last year with 29 gold medals, 31 silvers and 31 bronzes.