The newly certified New Clark City Athletics Stadium (PNA photo)

The New Clark City (NCC) Athletics Stadium and Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac, the sports venues of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, have been certified as “Class 1” facilities by the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) and the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

These world-class sports venues were constructed in 18 months in time for the SEA Games to be held from November 30 to December 11, 2019.

This international recognition was recently shared in a press briefing attended by House of Representatives Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Bases Conversion Development Authority CEO and president Vince Dizon, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino, and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Arnold Agustin.

Go pointed out that with the construction of the Class 1 venues, the Philippines is ready to produce more world-class talents who can follow the footsteps of world champions.

Meanwhile, five exceptional athletes from different sports, are nominated to act as flag-bearers as the 30th Southeast Asian Games opens on Nov. 1 at the Philippine Sports Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez identified the five as pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, skateboarder Margielyn Arda Didal, weightlifter Hidylin Diaz and veteran boxer Felix Eumir Marcial.

Ramirez noted that these athletes were short-listed as a result of close consultation with his deputies and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

“It is possible that all five athletes will get to carry the flag in front of the national team during the SEA Games opening ceremonies,” Ramirez said.  (Jojo Mangahis)