“Ilang tulog na lang.” It’s just days before the November 30th start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and Filipinos would surely brim with pride as people around the world would get to see what the Philippines has to offer – the much-awaited SEA Games Opening Ceremonies and a first good look at the country’s latest and much-talked-about Olympic Grade Class 1 Athletic Stadium and Aquatics Center.
The world-class Athletic Stadium has a 20,000 seating capacity while the Aquatics Center is a 2,000-seater, both now SEA Games-ready at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
The Stadium’s nine-lane 400-meter track and field oval, and six-lane warm-up indoor and outdoor tracks were laid out with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-approved Rekortan M sandwich synthetic surface system.
The Class 1 facility certification from the international governing body for the sport of athletics means the Philippines’ new Athletic Stadium can now host Tier-1 athletics competitions like the SEA Games, the Asian Games, and the Olympic Games.
“I really hope that Filipino athletes can excel on these surfaces. That would really be the icing on the cake for us: to see them starting to set world records or at least national records on the track,” said Sport group Asia General Manager Shaun Goudie.
In keeping with the world-class track, SmarTracks is providing accurate time registration and performance analyses with digital diagnostic technology donated by MTD Philippines, including the 99 SmarTracks timing gates. The Stadium’s warm-up tracks are installed E-Sport International to pick up the precise measurements of runners with sensor belts.
Other than the Athletic Stadium, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) also constructed an Aquatic Center inside the New Clark City Sports Hub for the biennial meet scheduled for November 30-December 11.
The Aquatics Center is also IAAF-certified as Class 1 facility and meets the standards of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming.
Asian Para Games triple gold medalist in para-swimming Ernie Gawilan was among those who recently checked out and praised the Aquatics Center.
Filipino architects Budji + Royal designed the Sports Hub drawing inspiration from the surrounding land and to show the Filipino spirit and resilience, reports the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
The Athletics Stadium takes inspiration from the “caldera” or crater of Mt. Pinatubo and the organic lahar material was used in the concrete for the stadium’s posts and facade. The ringed roof is specially designed to resemble a volcanic crater, while glass frames adorn the main entrance of the stadium.
By day, the special fiberglass roof of the Aquatics Center shows the coastal heritage of the Filipino people depicting Capiz shells used as windows in old Philippine houses, while the structural framing mimics the weaving patterns of the “baklad’” or woven fish nets. By night, the roof resembles that of a lit “parol”, a Filipino Christmas lantern.
The Athletes’ Village inside the New Clark City sports complex will serve as the home of the athletes, officials, and international volunteers for the entire duration of the 2019 SEA Games. It has 525 rooms, 95 of which are for PWDs, gym amenities, kitchen and dining areas, conference rooms, and other recreational facilities. Self-driving cars would be shuttling the SEA Games athletes to the sports venues.
The BCDA reported that after the SEA Games the facilities will be used by Philippine athletes for training, and will serve as venues for events, concerts, and other sports events.
The 30th SEA Games Opening Ceremonies on November 30 will feature the arrival of the 30th SEA Games Torch with a design inspired by the Philippines’ national flower, the Sampaguita.
The opening show will feature Filipino international pop artist Apl de Ap and the Black Eyed Peas and Filipino international musical theatre star Lea Salonga in a collaborative show with Philippine National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
WATCH the sneak peek video of the world-class New Clark City Sports Hub and TELL US in the comments below of your excitement for the upcoming SEA Games!
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