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Palarong Pambansa 2019 opens in Davao City
Palarong Pambansa 2019 opens in Davao City

Manman Dejeto

More than 15,000 athletes from the Philippines' 17 regions will compete in this year's edition of the national sports event

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Palarong Pambansa 2019 formally opened at the University of the Philippines Sports Complex in Tugbok district here on Sunday, April 28, with about 20,000 people in attendance based on official estimates.

More than 15,000 athletes from the country’s 17 regions will compete in this year’s edition of the national sports event. (UPDATES and MEDAL TALLY: Palarong Pambansa 2019)

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to grace the event, which was moved from Saturday, April 27, for him to deliver a speech in his hometown, reported ABS-CBN News. Duterte served as Davao City mayor for more than two decades.

In a message to the athletes, the President’s daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, said Davao City was thrilled to host the national games, considering that it has been 69 years since a national sporting event was last held here.

The last national sporting event Davao City hosted was the Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games, the precursor to the Palarong Pambansa.

Mayor Duterte said the city government went the “extra mile” in preparing for this year’s Palaro.

In a separate video message as she was not able to personally attend the opening ceremony, the mayor also urged the athletes not to force themselves to compete if they are not feeling well.

“Tell your coaches,” she said.

In previous athletic events here, such as the Davao Regional Athletic Association meet in January 2018, several athletes suffered from food poisoning.

Recently, a Lanao del Norte wushu athlete also suffered extreme body pains. Officials said she had overpracticed.

“Do not push yourself if you are not feeling well,” Mayor Duterte added. –

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