Sports execs impressed by SEA Games facilities

CAPAS, Tarlac -- The newly completed sports facilities for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games have impressed national sports executives.

Top officials from 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 at the New Clark City (NCC), as both were recently tested by national athletes during the pre-qualifying competitions held here for the 30th SEA Games.

"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," Patafa president Philip Ella Juico said, referring to the Athletics Stadium where the 2019 Patafa Weekly Relay Series was held.

Juico also mentioned the positive feedback of the athletes toward 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 the 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 Lailani Velasco said the Fina-accredited Aquatics Center can serve as training ground for all European and US-based swimmers who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.

Velasco said 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 said the said competitions called "sports rehearsals" allow the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to identify the strengths of the facilities before the games start.

For his part, BCDA President and Chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for his support to the construction of the sports facilities.

"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," 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," he added.


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