ANGELES CITY –- The Division of Angeles City ranked third place in the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) Meet final medal tally with Division of Pampanga in the second place.

The Division of Bulacan is this year’s overall champion.

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The CLRAA Technical Records Management Committee, in a statement, said Angeles City brought home 103 medals in the various sporting events that were held last February 22 to 26 here.

More than 20 athletes from the Angeles City delegation were also recommended to represent Central Luzon in the upcoming Palarong Pambansa set in April at San Jose Sports Complex in Tarlac City.

The team triumphs with an improved medal count of 45 gold medals, 24 silver medals and 24 medals bronze compared to last year’s tally of eight gold medals, 37 silver medals and 33 bronze medals.

Athletes, who successfully qualified to represent the region, are Lawn Tennis Players Burmiel Pineda, Vince Russel Salas and Ma. Angela Sunga; Boxer Fernando Tacuyan; Taekwondo Jin Genesis Ryan Simbulan; Swimming Team (Male and Female); Volleyball Players (Secondary Division-Female) among others.

Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno enthusiastically applauded the athletes for giving their best performance in the sports meet.

“This shows that Angeleños are naturally skilled and talented. Our role as leaders includes providing them with the right resources and opportunities to utilize and enhance these skills and talents. This is one of the several reasons why the Angeles City Government never hesitated in investing in programs and facilities that could improve the potential of its citizens,” said Nepomuceno.

It could be recalled that the Nepomuceno administration has spearheaded the construction of a world class multi-purpose building that could function as a City Sports Stadium or a convention center set to be ready by 2013.

Angeles City Sports Office (Acso) Chief Paul Ryan Puri, for his part, said that the training of the athletes would start immediately.

Gil Cortez, Provincial Sports Coordinator, told Sun.Star Pampanga that Pampanga’s winnings in the CLRAA is a manifestation of the good sporting programs of the province and the abundance of talents of the youth in various sporting events.

He however, stressed the need for more support for the province's sports development program.

"Although the Provincial Government has allocated some P2 million for sports development this year, we need more support and assistance for the creation of a sports office and scholarships for our athletes," said Cortez.

Despite this, Cortez said Pampanga bagged gold medals in the sporting events of Archery and groups events like Volleyball.

Governor Eddie Panlilio is expected to honor the winning athletes in simple ceremonies on March 15 at the Capitol.

The Division of Pampanga winners include: Team Archery (Gold, Secondary Girls Division) Merie Micah lapuz, Kathleen Joy Bartolo, Ma. Krizzelle Pangilinan, and Jean Karla Bondoc; (Secondary Boys Division) Ellerey Lemuel Pineda and Clayton Lee Dungca. Also, the province’s volleyball, football and basketball teams (boys, secondary division) bagged gold medals in their respective categories among others. (With report from Jovi T. De Leon)