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Pangasinan's ping-pong girl is Palaro's youngest athlete

J-An A. Sanchez is just like any other Palaro player. She has good grades in school, has won district, division and regional meets, and has collected numerous gold medals and awards. 

This Table Tennis player from Rosales, Pangasinan has done it all, and she’s just 7 years old.

J-An A. Sanchez 

Dubbed as 2015 Palarong Pambansa’s youngest athlete, it’s no surprise that J-An made it this far. She hailed from a family of Table Tennis players, led by her father and Coach, Allan B. Sanchez.

“Natuto siyang pumalo sa pagsingitsingit niya habang naglalaro yung mga kapatid niya. Nung na-discover nga na mayroon siyang talent, ang ginawa nung trainer niya ay binigyan siya ng piso sa bawat bola na maibalik niya.” 

Her father said that being a kid, J-An delighted in such an incentive and was able to make as much as 20 pesos in one sitting.

Originally it was her brother and sister, AJ and Aljhay Sanchez, who were intended to train and compete in the Palarong Pambansa. J-An joined the District meet for the purpose of exposure and for her to have fun. Instead, this Grade 1 pupil beat all the Grade 6 students who entered the match– all of whom are much taller and much experienced than her.

“Siya na yung nagrepresent ng Division namin sa Regional Meet. Hindi namin ineexpect na mananalo siya kasi ayaw namin siyang ma-pressure. Pinapabayaan lang namin siya kasi kitang-kita na masaya siya pag naglalaro. Ang nangyari,tinalo niya yung mga malalakas na players ng Region 1 at ito n anga kami, andito ngayon sa Palarong Pambansa.” added Sanchez, saying that it is J-An and Aljhay who made it to the nation’s renowned sporting event.

When asked what J-An wants to do in life, the little darling of the crowd said “Gusto ko lang pong maglaro ng Table Tennis.Masayang masaya po kasi ako pag naglalaro ako.” 

With her advanced skills and the youthful bliss she gets from playing, surely we’ll be seeing a lot of her in the next Palaro meets to come.

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