Dr. Philip Ella Juico during the PATAFA Weekly press conference at Athletes Stadium in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac, September 1, 2019 (Rio Deluvio)

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) targets New Clark City in Tarlac as its venue for the 2020 National Open set on Dec. 4 to 6.

PATAFA chief Philip Juico said they are still discussing the plans to the management of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the staging of the three-day event.

A month-long training bubble for select national athletes in Canlubang will precede the National Open, which is essential for local-based athletes seeking berths to the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Juico said they have submitted their health protocols for the training bubble, as well as for the competition, to the Philippine Sports Commission.

He is optimistic that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) would approve these plans considering that it involves national athletes.

“I’m sure na mapapayagan naman kami dito because these are national athletes preparing for international competitions next year,” Juico said.

The training bubble is expected to start by the first week of November. Athletes will then go directly from Canlubang to Tarlac in batches for the competition.

As for the tournament, Juico said they are reducing the number of events to comply with the government protocols.

Since March, all national athletes are currently doing home training in their provinces due to quarantine restrictions.  Some are craving for “actual training,” saying that home training is not enough to keep them in top shape.

It would be a busy year for athletes in 2021 as they are expected to compete in Olympic qualifiers for the Tokyo Games, the Southeast Asian Games, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/29/new-clark-city-eyed-to-host-national-open/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-clark-city-eyed-to-host-national-open)