CORDILLERA Administrative Region's bid for a better finish in the upcoming Palarong Pambansa starts during the week as athletes are now conducting training.

Athletes and coaches will then converge in Baguio City tentatively set April 10 for final preparation before flying to Antique.

Department of Education Regional Sports Coordinator Agustin Gumuwang told Sun*Star Baguio athletes and their coaches who are qualified for the national sports meet are now taking preparations in full swing before going against other elementary and high school athletes in one of the country’s biggest amateur sports events.

CAR placed ninth in last year’s edition of the game with 12 golds, 19 silver and 15 bronzes, a far cry from the National Capital Region’s medal haul which topped the games with 104-57-48 medal tally while second placer Region 4-A had 40-43-59 medal count.

With 17 Regions to compete against, CAR delegation will bank on arnis, wrestling, athletics, and archery for the medal haul while other sports like boxing, taekwondo and swimming has stronger chances according to the DepEd official.

“We have a stronger delegation now as compared to the past Palarong Pambansa, we have made some improvements into our recruitment for athletes as well. We have sent coaches to seminars and trainings to further also their knowledge on their coaching and on the trainings,” said Gumuwang.

The Palaro Board last year awarded hosting rights to Antique, after Negros Occidental, Iloilo, and Cebu withdrew bids due to budget issues.

Among the criteria considered for the selection of Palaro venues are sports facilities must be of international standards and that these are well-secured, but accessible to the general public.

The host local government must be capable and willing to shoulder expenses, including construction and renovation of sports facilities, billeting, and other infrastructural requirements.