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NCC ready for Asian hosting

CAPAS, Tarlac — The Philippines will finally host the 11th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in November 2023 after the event didn’t push through in 2020 owing to the pandemic.

To formalize New Clark City’s staging of the swimfest, top officials from the Philippine Olympic Committee, Asian Swimming Federation and Bases Conversion and Development Authority signed their partnership Wednesday at the Aquatics Center.

Last time the venue hosted a major meet was in December 2019 when the country hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Leading the POC was president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who was joined by legal department chief Wharton Chan.

Representing the AASF was its secretary general Taha Sulaiman Al Kishry while BCDA president and chief executive officer Atty. Agnes VST Devanedera and senior vice-president for Corporate Services Arrey Perez attended the event.

More than 40 countries are expected to join in the competition with medals up for grabs in the 18-and-under, 16-and-under and 14-and-under categories.

“Last year, when we opened the discussion to the BCDA, the first one was the Asian Age Group Championships. The BCDA and I agreed to have the event hosted here,” Al Kishry said during a press conference.

“There is no better facility in the Philippines than this.”

The Philippines edged Thailand and Vietnam as host of the tournament.

With around 1,400 participants, Perez assured that the athletes village will be ready to welcome the athletes and officials.

“The athletes village has a capacity of 1500. If the event lasted nine or 10 days, we’ll be happier if they stayed longer,” Perez said.

For the hosting of this event, we need to form an organizing committee, which will be a team of people from different organizations that will be involved in the tournament.”

“I would like to thank the Asian Swimming Federation for giving us an opportunity to host this tournament and be back on the map in swimming,” Tolentino said.

“The tournament will be inclusive to all,” he added.

Tolentino was also joined by AASF technical committee chief Ibrahim Naddeh and POC secretary general Bones Floro and MTD Philippines president Patrick Nicholas David.

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