NAGA City: The number of participants reached 4,400 on Tuesday exceeding the 2013 edition record of 4,048 as the 2014 Batang Pinoy-Luzon Leg formally started on Tuesday at the Plaza Quezon here.
Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Akiko Thompson-Guevarra said that the heavy turnout was because of the growing awareness on the annual competition for athletes ages 15-year old and below.
“The heavy turnout was due to the fact that Batang Pinoy has gained reputation as the premier multi-event meet for our youth,” said Thompson-Guevarra, who was the main guest of honor in the opening ceremonies along with Naga City Mayor John Bongat.
Defending overall champion Baguio City remains a strong favorite but powerhouse Pangasinan and host Naga City as well as Camarines Sur province expressed readiness to dominate the 26 sports disciplines during the five-day event.
Results of the swimming competition, which started on Tuesday, were not yet available at press time while action in baseball, football, judo, muay thai, soft tennis, wushu, arnis, archery, boxing, chess, karatedo and wrestling will start today.
The other events in the last qualifying leg of the meet are gymnastics-cheerdance, athletics and tae kwon do. The winners in the Luzon qualifying leg will compete against the best from Visayas and Mindanao in the 2014 Batang Pinoy national finals in December in Bacolod City.