Issue of March 11, 2018
     
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PATAFA cancels city hosting of Asian Grand Prix in May
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has withdrawn its hosting of the Asian Grand Prix track and field competition due to the absence of international level track ovals in the country, including that of Baguio.

In a letter to Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Patafa President Philip Ella Juico said the city’s oval rubber track at the Baguio Athletic Bowl needs to undergo repairs and modifications to suit international standards.

“It is with deep regret that I inform you that the Patafa is withdrawing hosting the two legs of the 2018 Asian Grand Prix scheduled sometime in May 2018. The main reason for this withdrawal is the absence of at least two international level track ovals which will pass the rigorous standards of the Asian Athletic Association and the International Association of Athletics Federation, the former being the area association for the latter, the worldwide governing body of athletics/track and field,” Juico said.

Earlier, one of those considered for the hosting of the said event is the Baguio Athletic Bowl, but it too has not passed the evaluations made by the Patafa when they inspected the area December last year.

“After a thorough examination of various track ovals in the country, including the Baguio City oval at Burnham Park, we have concluded that any modifications or repairs to be done in said ovals cannot be completed in time for the competitions,” the letter added.

“We at Patafa hope that while, the track and field facility in Baguio City needs to undergo repairs and modifications to comply with international standards, we believe that it can be used for national and local competitions with some adjustments to ensure the health and safety of competing athletes,” Juico stated.

Domogan said in their initial discussion with the Patafa, Baguio was eyed as the first stage of the Philippine leg while Ilagan City is for the second stage and Cavite for the third stage. He said the city, along with the other areas do not have time to comply with the standards needed.

Domogan said while improvements are ongoing at the Baguio Athletic Bowl, the improvements being asked by the Patafa needed more time to be implemented.

“We will continue the improvements, there are those originally itemized as part of the contract but it was not good that’s why the contractor is required to do the said repair,” he said.

Even with cancellation, the mayor said there are other local competitions that are scheduled this year at the Baguio Athletic Bowl such as the Batang Pinoy happening this September.

 
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