CAPAS, TARLAC– The Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Inc. were impressed by the newly built Athletics Stadium and Aquatics Center in New Clark City as both were recently tested by national athletes during the pre-qualifying competitions held here for the upcoming 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games.
“I’ve seen this in phases, from raw land to the time that this was being built,” says PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico, referring to the Athletics Stadium where the 2019 PATAFA Weekly Relay Series was held. “I’ve visited other facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Indonesia and [the stadium] compares very favorably. It has all of the requirements of a modern facility that is approved by the highest track and field authorities in the world.”
Juico also mentioned the positive feedback of the athletes towards the new stadium, highlighting the first government-owned warm-up track oval which is a big improvement from their former training facility.
“All of them love it. They feel that this is best for them. The track itself is not too hard, it’s not too demanding on their legs. So we expect good performances from them,” he said.
Meanwhile, PSI President Lani Velasco said that the FINA-accredited Aquatics Center can be “the training ground for all European and US-based swimmers who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.”
Velasco said that the swimmers were happy that the competition pool at the Aquatics Center is a “fast pool” which can positively impact the speed and performance of the swimmers.
Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Deputy Director-General Arrey Perez remarked that the said competitions called “sports rehearsals,” allow BCDA to identify the strengths of the facilities before the games start.
“Without the support of President Duterte and his sheer will to make this happen, the world-class facilities for our athletes will not be here,” BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon said. “BCDA is very proud that the athletes were able to use the sports facilities which are part New Clark City, the country’s first smart and resilient metropolis.”