Monday, November 14, 2005

SEAG torch relay big hit in Cebu

CEBU - The torch relay of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games was a big hit here as it lured hundreds of people from all walks of life since it began late Saturday afternoon. Following a short ceremony, Mandaue City councilor Carlo Fortuna and City sports chairwoman Cheryl Ouano formally received the official torch from Danao city councilor Boying Rodriguez.

"We’re very inspired feeling the support of our fellow Cebuanos," said Fortuna, also the president of the Philippine Councilor League. "Our motorcade covered a six kilometer route and thousands of people joined us," added the 33-year-old councilor.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman William "Butch" Ramirez made an inspiring speech during the program, praising the dedication and determination of Mandaue to host the two sporting events of karatedo and judo.

Other sports scheduled in Cebu are mountain bike (Danao), sepak takraw (University of San Carlos), dance sport (Waterfront) and pencak silat (Cebu Coliseum).

"I’m happy to see how my fellow Cebuanos really worked hard for this event. We are now looking for Bacolod, Subic and Manila to follow this kind of preparation which is very impressive," Ramirez said.

On the other hand, PSC commissioner Richie Garia, who is also the Philippine SEAG Committee (PHILSOC) sports operation chairman, said venues in the Queen City of the South are now close to being finished.

Cebu is staging the combat sports of karatedo, judo, pencak silat, dance sport, mountain bike and sepak takraw.

"As far as preparations are concerned, Cebu is very much ready," said Garcia. "All the equipment needed are now in Manila and shipments of it like the different gadgets, time clock and everything concerning the six events to be held here will be arriving anytime now."

The mats to be used in pencak silat, karatedo and judo, Garcia added, are arriving in the coliseums of Cebu and Mandaue this weekend.

Meanwhile, the bicycles to be used in Danao for the mountain bike event are likewise already in Manila.

"We just need minor refurbishing before Cebu makes the green light," Garcia said.

Promotions and advertisements of the SEA Games here are also now in full swing.

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