EVEN with the expected stiff competition, Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) is hoping to surpass its 25 gold medal output and improve its fifth place finish in the upcoming Palarong Pambansa which opens April 27 in Davao City.
The region is once again pinning its hopes on combative sports even as arnis vowed to contribute at least seven gold medals for the region.
Elementary coach Orden Cayso said they are hoping to give the region seven gold medals in the elementary division out of the 13 golds to be contested despite having two first time Palaro Pambansa competitors.
“We know na tayo (Cordillera) ang binabantayan but we hope we can deliver for the region,” said Cayso hoping to replicate their over-all title performance back in 2013.
The elementary squad will be bannered by Caraa multi–medalists Justin Apilas and Hana Jean Walang.
Walang sweep all seven golds including the team competition while Apilas earned five gold medals in arnis during the Caraa 2019 meet held in Apayao.
Georaloy Palao-ay, information officer of DepEd Cordillera, said the region is set to send 653 athletes and will be joined by 91 delegates and officials with Baguio City, who recently topped the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association, having the most athletes with 299.
The upcoming 2019 Palarong Pambansa is reported to reintroduce indigenous sports in addition to its existing games to make the annual multi-sports event special and interesting intended to restore and revive “Laro ng Lahi” sports amidst the popularity of electronic and video-based games played by the millennials over computers, tablets and mobile phones.
The region placed fifth in last year’s Palarong Pambansa with 25 golds, 22 silvers and 23 bronze medals while the National Capital Region bagged anew the overall title for the 14th straight year bagging 100 gold, 70 silver, and 50 bronze medals.
Palao-ay added with the stiffer competition on combative sports, other athletes are also asked to step up their campaign during the weeklong competition for elementary and high school students.
“Aside from individual sports, we are looking at other team events like futsal and softball to produce medals,” added Palao-ay.