Asian age group swim championships set at NCC pool in November next year

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CAPAS, Tarlac—The Philippines will host the 11th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in November next year—the second major international competition to be staged at the world-class New Clark City (NCC).

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Asia Swimming Federation (AASF) Secretary General Taha Sulaiman Al Kishry signed a memorandum of agreement for the hosting chores on Wednesday morning at NCC’s FINA-certified Aquatics Center, a showcase facility like the nearby Athletics Stadium during the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

“I would like to thank the AASF for giving us the opportunity to host a big event like this,” Tolentino said. “It’s really hard to bid to host an international event like swimming.”

The AASF chose the Philippines over Thailand and Vietnam as host because of the world-class NCC pools that will cater to competitions in swimming, diving, artistic [synchronized] swimming and water polo—including a category for boys and girls as young as 11.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera and Senior Vice President for Corporate Services Group Arrey Perez, as well as POC legal chief Atty. Wharton Chan and Secretary-General Bones Floro and MTD Philippines president Patrick Nicholas David were at NCC to witness the ceremony.

More than 1,400 young swimmers from 42 Asian countries are expected to compete in the championships. The continental competition is the second of two major international competitions after the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 that will be staged in the FINA-standard swimming and diving pools.

“With this kind of venue [NCC], we are lucky to be chosen,” said Tolentino, also head of PhilCycling and of Tagaytay City. “We, the POC, BCDA and PSI [Philippine Swimming Inc.] will work together to achieve a successful hosting.

“The facilities here are excellent from the warm up to the competition pool,” said Al Kishry, adding that the Aquatics Center is Olympic standard. “There’s nothing you can ask for about the venue.”

Al Kishry said he expects top officials from FINA, swimming’s world governing body, to attend the championships.

Perez said that a year’s preparation would help the POC, BCDA and NCAA for a successful hosting of championships.

“It’s not easy to host an event like the Asian championships. It requires a year of preparation and dry runs to make it better,” Perez said.

The NCC’s other world-class facility, the Athletes Village, would house the swimmers, coaches and officials. The specific competition dates in November 2023 will be announced later.

Image credits: Roy Domingo

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