30th SEAG SIDEBAR
MANILA, Philippines — Champion athletes EJ Obiena and Christine Hallasgo feel nothing but pride in describing the New Clark City Athletics Stadium, saying the “world-class” facility will motivate them to train better for their competitions.
“This is exactly how a world-class stadium looks like. When I compete outside the country, it’s like this,” Obiena told Senator Pia Cayetano when the latter toured the stadium Friday night.
Pole vaulter Obiena was the first Filipino athlete to earn a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when he passed the qualifying mark in a tournament in Italy.
Obiena said he could finally invite his friends from other countries to hold their training in the Philippines.
“Now that we have this facility, I could actually invite them here; hopefully before Tokyo [because] we usually do camps near the [host] country,” Obiena said.
Hallasgo, who won the SEA Games women’s marathon crown, said the New Clark City sports facilities inspire her and her fellow athletes.
“Masaya ako na meron na tayong ganito sa Pilipinas kasi malaking tulong ito sa aming mga atleta. Pag nag-te-training, iba yung feeling, parang hindi nasa Pilipinas, parang nasa ibang bansa,” she said.
“Nung first time ko nakita (yung track), na-impress ako kasi ang lambot niya tapakan,” Hallasgo, who has been training in New Clark City since September, said.
“Nakaka-inspire din mag-training kapag yung mga ginagamit na equipment pang world-class din,” she added.
Cayetano, a sports advocate and triathlete, agreed with Obiena and Hallasgo’s remarks as she herself has run laps at the Athletics Stadium.
“Tinanong ko nga sa kanila (Obiena and Hallasgo), what do you think of New Clark City? Ano pa ba ang kulang? Sabi ni EJ, that’s a very hard question to answer kasi wala na daw silang maisip na kulang sa ganda na pinatayo ng ating gobyerno para sa ating mga athletes,” the senator said.
The Athletics Stadium is a 20,000-seater, world-class Olympics stadium with a Class 1-certified nine-lane 400-meter track and field oval, and a six-lane warm up track.
Aside from the stadium, New Clark City also has a FINA-certified Aquatics Center with a 10-lane Olympic size swimming pool, a diving pool with inland diving training facility, and a warm-up training pool; and the Athletes’ Village complete with training and fitness facilities. (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)