National Capital Region dominated athletics and swimming but Visayas reigned in other events to emerge overall champions in the Milo Little Olympics national finals in Cagayan de Oro last Sunday.

The Visayan bets pooled 568 points after topping gymnastics, badminton, sepak takraw and table tennis to rule the three-day event featuring top and rising young athletes from all over the country.

The Big City bets, led by multiple gold medal-winning tanker Hannah Dato, sprinter Michelle Palmares and middle distance runner Vanessa del Valle, assembled 551.5 points, host Mindanao chalked up 416 points while Luzon scored 354.5 points from the 12 sports disputed.

University of the Visayas’ Jimi Campones swept the individual all-around, floor exercise and vault as Visayas bagged the men’s artistic gymnastics team title at Corpus Christi School with 75.45 points. NCR finished second with 67.65 while Mindanao had 66.85 for third.

Jamela Mae Moga of UV and Shiela Mae Elejorde Elivarde of Gun-ob National High School led the Visayans romp in the women’s artistic gymnastics with a 103.25 total. Mindanao scored 99.80 for second and Luzon finished third with 76.35.

Gymnastics, badminton, sepak takraw and table tennis produced 209 of Visayas’ 568 points total. Track and field athletes and swimmers provided 220 of NCR’s 551.5.

Mindanao overpowered its rivals in chess and tennis and narrowly beat Luzon in taekwondo, 41-38.5.

Luzon won six medals while Mindanao clinched five in the high school competition but the hosts won four against their rivals’ three in the grade school division.

The other sports contested were football, volleyball and scrabble.

“We are proud to have given children another chance to shine. You see in their eyes the determination to succeed and you get inspired, because you know that you are not only building champions in sports but champions in a bigger arena called life,” said Milo sports executive Pat Goc-Ong.

The next Milo Little Olympics national finals will be held in Pangasinan in 2011.

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