MORE than 1,000 athletes participated in the first-ever triathlon held in New Clark City on October 19 to 20, 2019.
The event, organized by the GoClark Sports and Events and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), welcomed participants from all ages with the hosting of the kids’ triathlon, fun run, and the major triathlon race. It was also the first time that the new, world-class sports complex was opened to the public.
“We’re fortunate that a lot of athletes and spectators supported the event. Hopefully these sports facilities will eventually help promote wellness and healthy living for many Filipinos. Seeing the faces of the participants, they were so happy. It’s just the beginning of what’s more to come [here in New Clark City] in the next few years,” BCDA president and chief executive officer Vince Dizon said.
Dizon added that the race was another opportunity to test the sports facilities before the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games which will run from November 30 to December 11. Official test games will start next week and will be participated by international athletes.
Participants raced at the world-class Athletics Stadium, Aquatics Center, and the new access road from New Clark City to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway which will boost connectivity in Central Luzon.
There were also para-athletes who joined the race which shows that New Clark City promotes inclusivity.
“This event proves that you don't have to be an elite athlete to do this sport,” says GoClark Sports and Events director Jumbo Tayag.
2017 SEA Games men’s triathlon silver medalist John “Rambo” Chicano, the Philippines’ top bet for this year’s 30th SEA Games, said the facility is a huge help for national athletes as they train for the upcoming competition.
“Napakalaking tulong ng ganitong facility para sa aming mga atleta kasi hindi na namin kailangan mag-overseas na training camp so ‘yun pa lang, makakatipid na kami kasi pamasahe pa lang ‘tsaka accommodation din malaki. Sa ganitong paraan, nakakatipid na. Nakaka-engganyo pa tayo ng kabataan [to turn to sports] dito sa Clark,” Chicano said.
“[For] Filipino athletes, to do the SEA Games in front of the home crowd is one of our biggest opportunities to promote our sports, triathlon. To showcase that we are good in endurance sports and that it should be given so much funding,” Gold medalist triathlete Nikko Huelgas underscored.
“Kasi ‘pag tinutulungan ‘yung Philippine sports mas na-iinspire ‘yung buong bayan to engage in sports and nabibigyan ng opportunities ‘yung mga tao magkaroon ng magandang buhay. Sports gives you a better life.”
Both the Athletics Stadium and Aquatics Center meet the standards of international governing bodies, the International Association of Athletics Federations and Federation Internationale de Natation. (PR)