NATIONAL and international competitions are ready to be staged at the University of Mindanao (UM) after its Olympic-sized rubberized track oval was inaugurated at last at the Matina campus yesterday.

UM president Guillermo "Willie" Torres, Jr. led the ceremonial cutting of ribbon after the blessing. Joining him were Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, PBA Party-list Representative Jericho Nograles, Davao City Councilors April Marie Dayap and Rene Elias Lopez and Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera.

Torres, on his Facebook post, said: "Glory to UM. We just inaugurated and blessed today the UM Track Oval and Athletic Field. It is an Olympic and world-class track and field facility using Spurtan rubberized track surface supplied by Sierra Universal Corporation. It is the first of its kind in Davao City."

Commissioner Maxey, in a text interview, said, "Today marks a momentous event in the history of Davao because we are inaugurating a world-class track oval. This is the realization of a dream of Mr. Guillermo Torres, Jr. to build this facility."

Maxey said that it was 10 years ago when Torres Jr. first thought of building the modern sports facility in the city.

"We at the PSC headed by our chairman William `Butch' Ramirez express our heartfelt gratitude to the Torres family and to the men and women of UM who made this happen," the Dabawenyo commissioner said, adding that the track oval will not only benefit not just UM students but as well as other student athletes who are even more inspired to pursue their dreams to become champions someday.

Maxey also said that the UM track oval will also benefit the people of Davao and those in other regions and other parts of the country.

Aportadera, meanwhile, said the facility is "a dream come true for all".

"It would open the doors to future track stars and even improve the performance level of those who are competing in the local and national level," the city sports chief said.

He also eyes an athletic partnership with Torres Jr., the PSC and the SDD-CMO to create a highly-competitive Davao City track and field team and develop promising athletes in the grassroots level.