WITH the visiting squads now seriously considering their chances, this year's Mindanao Milo Little Olympics in Cagayan de Oro City is guaranteed to be a sure-fire hit. 

Last year alone, Davao City sent a couple of international caliber competitors in the board games. And just recently, parents of athletes from as far as General Santos City have started inquiring about the format of the multifarious meet for elementary and secondary levels.

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"We expect a tough challenge from schools outside Cagayan de Oro especially that after the regional eliminations…the second Milo National Finals will take place in October also in the City of Golden Friendship," said event coordinator Megdonio R. Llamera.     

To be slated on July 30 to August 1 at the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Center, the annual Mindanao Milo Little Olympics will feature over a dozen sports disciplines including the centerpiece events in swimming and athletics. 

Meanwhile, some technical officials handling the Milo competitions had positively welcomed the organizers' decision to award instead the Most Outstanding Athletes (MOA) citations during the national finals. 

"Mas malipay na lang pud `mi nga gi-usab ang sistema paghatag sa maong award kay dili na kaayo pressure pag officiate sa regional level," said chess arbiter Joseph Maestrado Jr. admitting that he encountered some difficulties in the past in dealing with the "heat" stemming from the pressure-filled procedure to determine the deserving athletes. 

"Init kaayo ang pagpili sa MVP mao nga dili malikayan nga makontrahan ta usahay sa mga parents. But that's part of the risk in handling an officiating job," Maestrado told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro. 

Deadline for registration in the regional level is set on July 26.  

This way, Llamera said the secretariat and screening committees will find enough time to evaluate those qualified only to compete in Milo's 12 sporting events, namely swimming, athletics, badminton, chess, football, gymnastics, lawn tennis, scrabble, sepak takraw, table tennis, taekwondo and volleyball.