DUMAGUETE CITY – Cebu City sprung a surprise at the last minute and beat host Dumaguete City to emerge as the overall champion in the just concluded 2017 Batang Pinoy-Visayas Qualifying Leg held here this week.

Dumaguete City was leading late Wednesday in the medal standings but was surpassed on Thursday by Cebu City with 46 gold medals, 59 silver medals, and 69 bronze medals and was eventually proclaimed the over-all champion.

Host Dumaguete came in second with 41 gold, 29 silver and 44 bronze medals, followed by Cebu province with 39 gold, 37 silver, and 44 bronze; Bacolod City, 36 gold, 26 silver, and 29 bronze; and Mandaue City with 29 gold, 23 silver and 20 bronze medals.

The final medal tally also showed the other delegations that got gold medals were Iloilo City with 31; Lapu-lapu City, 23; Aklan and Leyte province, each with 19 gold medals; and Bohol province and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental with 10 gold medals each.

The rest of the delegations garnered less than 10 gold medals each.

The 2017 Batang Pinoy-Visayas Qualifying Leg was held Nov. 10 to 16 in this capital city of Negros Oriental province.

It was a close fight among the Dumaguete City, Cebu City and Cebu province with the three of them taking the lead at one point throughout the six-day staging.

An estimated 3,000 delegates comprising athletes aged 15 and below, coaches and tournament officials converged in Dumaguete City for the Batang Pinoy-Visayas qualifiers with the winners being given the right to represent the region in the Batang Pinoy National Games.

Among the 18 events during the Batang Pinoy-Visayas regional qualifiers were basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, badminton, arnis, chess, sepak takraw, swimming, archery, and karatedo.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo congratulated Team Dumaguete as well as all the other delegates for their sportsmanship and best efforts in the games.

Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) attended the closing ceremony of the 2017 Batang Pinoy regional qualifiers on Thursday. (PNA)