Yu, Deldio launch PH bid in Youth Olympics | Inquirer Sports

Yu, Deldio launch PH bid in Youth Olympics

/ 01:54 AM August 17, 2014

NANJING—Triathlete Vicky Evania Deldio and swimmer Roxanne Yu will launch the Philippine campaign Sunday in the second Youth Olympic Games here.

Deldio plunges into action first when she answers the starting gun at 9 a.m. at Xuanwu Lake for the gruelling 750-meter swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run competition.

The freshman student at University of the Philippines made it to this year’s YOG following a strong fifth-place finish in the qualifying event in Kazakhstan last June.

“There’s pressure. But I’d rather feel it than be overconfident,” said the 16-year-old Deldio, who hails from Subic, on the eve of her race in the 14-18 age group.

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Over at the Olympic Sports Center Natatorium, almost an hour away from the triathlon course, Yu sees action in the heats of the 100-meter backstroke.

It’s a tough race for the 16-year-old Yu, a scholar at the British International School in Phuket, Thailand.

“I worked hard and waited long to qualify for this Youth Olympics and now I’m here to compete,” said Yu Saturday afternoon at the Philippine quarters inside the Athletes Village.

Artistic gymnast Ava Loreign Verdeflor will see action in the quarterfinals on Monday while track and field’s Zion Rose Nelson will be in the 400-meter heats on Wednesday.

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Celdon Jude Arellano sees action in the air rifle on Wednesday while archers Bianca Roxas-Chua Gotuaco and Luis Gabriel Moreno will be on deck on Friday.

222 gold medals at stake

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Over 3,600 athletes from 202 nations are vying for the 222 gold medals staked in 28 sports.

Deldio, who joined triathlon camps in China, South Korea and Portugal last year as she sought a slot for this YOG, said she saw familiar faces at the competition venue.

“The Asian competitors, I’ve seen them in the camps. But for those from the other continents, I just browse their names on the Internet and look at their times,” she said.

Deldio knows that it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

“This is the Youth Olympics,” she said.

Yu trained here under his Australian high-performance swim coach Simon Jones.

“She’s been swimming really well lately and she’s just getting stronger,” Jones said of Yu, who will also vie in the 200-m backstroke.

Yu said she will focus on her own race.

“I just want to do my best here and make the most out of this experience. No expectations. I don’t want to pressure myself too much,” she said of the 10 a.m. heats.

Because of their morning schedule, both Deldio and Yu begged off from attending Saturday evening’s opening ceremony which could drag on for hours.

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Philippine chef de mission Jonne Go allowed the two athletes to rest ahead of their races.

TAGS: medals, PH, Philippine, Youth Olympics

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