Thirty-three young Filipino athletes will test their mettle in the 6th Children of Asia International Games beginning on July 5 in Yakutsk, Russia.
The Philippines will be fielding in athletes in archery (2), athletics (4), boxing (2), chess (4), judo (7), swimming (6), table tennis (2), taekwondo (4) and wrestling (2).
“We have a good chance of winning medals,” national wrestling coach Melchor Tomasis said on Thursday, pertaining to the chances of Diomel Hugo (42 kgs.) and Sydney Sy (67 kgs.).
“I expect to win a medal. As of now, we are under a rigid training. That is why I am confident to win because of my training preparations,” said the 16-year-old Sy, a silver medalist in the Southeast Asian Senior Championship.
Hugo and Sy were both products of Batang Pinoy.
Meanwhile, former Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Rafael Barreto will lead the six-man swimming team.
“We are very excited. The selection process was to pick the top tankers or the swimmers who’ve won the most number of medals in Batang Pinoy. All these swimmers won at least two medals out of the five events,” said national swimming coach Marichi Gandionco.
“We want to develop the junior national team. We believe that this competition is a good experience for them to meet other players in Asia and gain them confidence as well,” she added.
Joining Barreto in the team are Samantha Coronel, Philip Santos, Camille Buico, Keane Ting and Zoe Hilario.
The Children of Asia International Sports Games, a quadrennial meet, held its first edition in 1996 in Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The Games were organized through the initiative of the first President of the Sakha Republic Mikhail Nikolayev to commemorate the Centennial of the modern Olympic Games.
The tournament is a prototype of the Youth Olympic Games that was first held in Singapore in 2010.