LOOK: Philippines' first Olympic-grade, class 1 stadium for SEA Games
A national team member tests the SmarTracks-enabled warm-up track outside the New Clark City Athletics Stadium. They will be training on this new track installed by Sportgroup and MTD Philippines until the 2019 SEA Games in November.
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LOOK: Philippines' first Olympic-grade, class 1 stadium for SEA Games

(Philstar.com) - November 14, 2019 - 2:28pm

NEW CLARK CITY, Philippines — As the country prepares to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, all eyes are on New Clark City and its prized Athletics Stadium, the first and only athletics facility in the Philippines to hold a Class 1 certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The first venue of this scale built in the country since the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in 1927, the 20,000-seater boasts of a nine-lane main track, and indoor and outdoor warm-up tracks equipped with the IAAF-approved Rekortan M sandwich synthetic surface system.

“When I first saw the new facility, I wanted to be an athlete again. During our time, we didn’t have this kind of equipment. I wanted to train again ,” said Sean Guevarra, the national athletics team coach who set the national record in the high-jump category when he was still an athlete.

IAAF, the international governing body for the sport of athletics, recently bestowed the honor on the stadium, guaranteeing the quality of its running tracks and other inclusions. A Class 1 mark means that the Philippines could now use this facility to host Tier-1 athletics competitions like the SEA Games, the Asian Games, and even the Olympic Games.

The stadium is part of the New Clark City Sports Hub, which also showcases an Aquatic Center with a pool that is at par with what was used during the 2012 London Olympics. The pool also received a Class 1 certification, this time from the International Swimming Federation. 

Other facilities in the area include an Athletes' Village and a River Park, both completed and tested by Filipino athletes.

The Philippine athletics team pose on the Class 1-certified track of the New Clark City Athletics Stadium, which will host their events during the 2019 SEA Games in November. Released

State-of-the-art materials

The materials in the main track were manufactured and installed by Polytan, which also provided the synthetic surfaces for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and other international sports competitions. Polytan is a part of Sportgroup, brands dedicated to sport surfaces with the most installed running tracks globally, 350 of which are in Asia Pacific.  

To get their state-of-the-art materials, MTD Philippines commissioned Filipino-owned E-Sports International, a Sportgroup distributor, as a subcontractor for the installation of both the competition and warm-up tracks to ensure that both the base preparation and surface system installation met the IAAF Class 1 standards.

“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 Shaun Goudie, Sportgroup Asia General Manager.

To further enhance the already world-class track, MTD Philippines donated the SmarTracks digital diagnostics technology, which provides accurate time registration and performance analyses. The package includes 99 SmarTracks timing gates, which E-Sports International installed on the stadium’s warm-up track to pick up the precise measurements of runners who would wear sensor belts.

“All athletes, especially ours, deserve to compete on a level playing field -- and it all starts with quality surfaces.” said Audris Romualdez, E-Sports International Managing Director. “We thank MTD Philippines for enlisting us as part of this endeavor.”

The Philippines’ first and only Class 1-certified sports venue, the New Clark City Athletics Stadium, gets set to host the 2019 SEA Games. This is the country’s first time to host the Games since 2005, when the Philippines also won the overall championship. Released


House Speaker and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chairman Alan Peter Cayetano along with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino and MTD Philippines President Patrick Nicholas David formally received the IAAF certification on October 16.

“We demand excellent output from our athletes when they compete for world championships. But if we don’t give them a facility that they can use, how do we expect them to actually compete at the elite level?,” said Patrick David of MTD Philippines, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s (BCDA) partner in developing the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) in New Clark City, where the stadium is located.

With the new world-class facility, Filipinos can look forward to more international sports competitions being hosted in the Philippines, as well as more record-breaking performances and medals from national athletes.

(L to R) Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon, MTD Philippines President Patrick Nicholas David, and Sportgroup Asia General Manager Shaun Goudie take a picture with national team athletes and the New Clark City Athletics Stadium’s Class 1 certificate, awarded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on October 16, 2019. Released

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