Tokyo Olympic medalists Paalam, Petecio to grace ‘23 Batang Pinoy opening

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ALL TOKYO OLYMPIC BOXERS and medalists Carlo Paalam (left), Eumir Marcial (center) and Nesthy Petacio (right). — PSC

ILOCOS SUR — No less than  Tokyo Olympics boxing silver winners Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam will usher in the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) Batang Pinoy National Championships unfurling tomorrow at the Quirino Stadium here.

Joining Petecio and Paalam in the inaugurals were Olympian judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and Southeast Asian Games swimming gold medalists Chloe Isleta and Mary Allin Aldeguer.

“The Batang Pinoy program has already produced numerous champions in various sports since it started in 1999. I am sure that the stories of our be-medalled athletes will inspire our young athletes who will be competing in Ilocos Sur, to reach the height they have achieved,” said PSC Chair Noli Eala, who will also grace the opener.

Joining them are host Ilocos Sur Gov. Jerry Singson and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino.

Mr. Eala said the event, which will be participated in by around 6,000 in and out-of-school youth athletes from 140 local government units, is being done to heed the call of President Bong Bong Marcos to boost the country’s grassroots development program.

A total of nine sports will be played face-to-face like archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, table tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and obstacle course racing as demo sport.

Eight others — arnis, dancesport, judo, karate, muay, pencak silat, taekwondo, and wushu — will be virtually held online and will be streamed via the PSC Facebook and YouTube platforms.

This year’s edition will also be held in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), the Department of Interior and Local Government Unit (DILG) and the Department of Education (DepED), co-presented by Milo Philippines, Pocari Sweat Otsuka Solar Philippines, Universal Robina Corp., Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Globe Telecom, and Beautéderm. — Joey Villar