Philippines to Host Olympic Qualifying Event: 11th Asian Age Group Championships

Philippines to Host Olympic Qualifying Event: 11th Asian Age Group Championships

Excitement is brewing in the world of aquatics as the Philippines gears up to host a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics later this month. Organizers have announced that the 11th Asian Age Group Championships will now serve as a qualifier to this year’s Summer Games, taking place from February 26 to March 9 at the New Clark City Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac.

The announcement came during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, where organizing committee president and CEO Joseph ‘Jojit’ Alcazar, along with COO Dave Carter and Philippine Aquatics Inc. secretary-general Eric Buhain, revealed the exciting news.

Buhain emphasized the significance of this event, stating, “That also means there will be world-class swimmers coming in and doing their best to make the qualifying times for Paris. So napakalaking opportunity ito to host and see these swimmers.” He added, “Bihirang-bihira na makakita tayo ng ganitong kalibreng mga atleta sa larangan ng aquatics na darating dito sa ating bansa.”

Approximately 1,300 athletes from 31 countries are expected to participate in the four disciplines at stake: swimming, diving, artistic swimming, and water polo. While only swimming will serve as a qualifier to the Olympics, organizers anticipate a surge in the number of entries and countries participating following the decision to make the event an Olympic qualifier.

Team Philippines will be represented by 44 swimmers – 22 boys and 22 girls – selected during national tryouts held at the Teofilo Yldefonso swimming pool at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex late last year. Leading the country’s bid in the tournament are Southeast Asian Games record holder Xiandi Chua and gold medalist Chloe Isleta.

Age-group events will include categories for 12-14, 15-17, and 18-and-above. Additionally, four men and women will represent the Philippines in diving, while two foreign-based Filipinos will compete in artistic swimming.

The competition schedule is as follows: swimming competitions from February 26-29, diving from February 26 to March 1, artistic swimming from March 2-6, and water polo from March 3-9.