New Clark City to host 2020 Asian Swimming Championships

Philippine Swimming Inc. President Lani Velasco, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vince Dizon, Asian Swimming Federation Secretary General Taha Al-Kishry and Philippine Sports Commission Celia Kiram sign a partnership agreement for the Philippines’ hosting of the 11th Asian Swimming Championship. The event will be held at the world-class FINA-certified Aquatics Center in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac in November 2020. (BCDA Photo)

The Asian Swimming Federation (AASF), the Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI), the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) signed a partnership agreement for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2020 Asian Swimming Championships (ASC), a major aquatics event that happens every 4 years.

In a press conference at the New Clark City Aquatics Center, PSI President Maria Lailani Velasco announced that the AASF awarded PSI the rights to host the 11th Asian Swimming Championships.

Through the partnership, the said event will be held at the Aquatics Center in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac.

AASF Secretary General Taha Sulaiman Al-Kishry announced during the press conference that the event will be held from November 7 to 17, 2020.  Al-Kishry is Chief of the Oman Swimming Association (OSA), and a member of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Bureau.

“Clark was selected for the facility they can provide for AASF…We will be bringing the best teams in Asia… During the championship we will have the General Congress where we will have the election after four years.” 

The General Congress will be held on the 8th of November 2020.  It is expected to bring together the executive board of FINA, as well as other high-ranking officers of all the ASEAN regions.

Ms. Velasco expressed her gratitude to AASF and shared his vision for the event.

“We would like to thank the AASF for confidently entrusting our country to host this mega event despite the interest shown by our experienced regional neighbors to do the same. We see this as an opportunity to not only maximize the use of the world-class facilities here at the New Clark City, but also to strengthen the local community, promote tourism, and showcase our hospitality to our foreign delegates.”

Velasco describes the Asian Swimming Championships as being “at par with the Asian Games in importance and is expected to dominate the success of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.”

It will bring together top swimmers from 50 AASF member countries. Among these are Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, and Qatar. It will consist of five disciplines: swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming and open water swimming.

She also cited the dynamic partnership PSI has with BCDA in light of the 30th South East Asian Games. “We at the PSI are very grateful to BCDA and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for agreeing to partner with us and provide us with the support needed to make this major aquatics event possible.  Both these organizations were, in fact, instrumental in making the 30th SEA Games a success and it is our hope that the strong ties built during the SEA Games will translate into an even more successful staging of the Asian Swimming Championships.”

For his part, BCDA President and CEO Vivencio Dizon emphasized the readiness of New Clark City and its facilities to host the event.

Addressing AASF and PSC, Mr. Dizon said: “Thank you for offering us this opportunity to be part of a big project. We agree that this is a great occasion for us to inspire the next generation of elite athletes as well as project a positive image of the Philippines to the world.”

He added: “Sports especially international competitions bring people together.  Who knows that we have a Philippine National Team for Water Polo before the SEA Games?…The athletes brought everybody together. That is something immeasurable.  Apart from the economic benefit–which are tremendous–sports uplifts the spirit of our people…that’s the most important positive effect.”

The PSC represented by Commissioner Fatima Celia Kiram assured everyone that PSC will give full support in holding the event, especially in technical matters.

“We do hope that the greatness of our Filipino athletes shown in the 30th South East Asian Games will be repeated in the coming 11th Asian Swimming Championship.” 

According to the PSI chief, in swimming, a total of 15 new SEA Games records have been established in just four days into the 30th SEA Games, aside from the numerous Philippine records set by our local athletes.

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