FOR the first time, the country will host Asia’s qualifying tournament for the next Youth Olympic Games (YOG), with the staging of the 4th Asian Senior and Junior Trampoline Gymnastics Championships on May 19 to 20 at the University of Makati Gym.
Close to 100 athletes from 10 countries are taking part in the two-day gymnastics tourney organized by the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, the Tourism Promotions Board, and the Makati City government led by Mayor Abigail Binay.
“We are delighted to host this huge Asian gymnastics event and would like to thank the Asian Gymnastic Union (AGU) for allowing us to conduct this competition featuring the best trampoline athletes in Asia,” GAP President Cynthia Carrion, a member of the AGU Executive Board, said.
“We welcome the best trampoline athletes from Asia to this event, which is also one way of promoting and popularizing this fast-growing sport worldwide in our country,” added Carrion.
Competing in the championships are the countries of China, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and host Philippines.
The event is doubly significant since the Asian juniors serve as qualifying event for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games set in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.
Vying for YOG slots for the Philippines are Shane Francis Peralta in the boys division and Fiona Mae Ventenilla in the girls division.
Composing the national seniors squad are Francisco Deorelar and Benjamin Jesus Mendoza in the men’s division and Erin Abaniel in the women’s division.
Heading the national contingent is Normita Ty, wife of the late national gymnastics standout and coach Santiago Ty, while the coaches are Rexel Ryan Fabriga and Liwliva Peralta.
The visiting delegations are scheduled to arrive on Thursday with the practice scheduled for Friday. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo