January 29, 2023

The country’s best athletes in athletics will see action in the Summer Capital after Mayor Benjamin Magalong approved the conduct of the qualifying performance for the Southeast Asian Games 2022 on Feb. 23 to 24.
A high-placed source said the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) earlier sought the approval of the city government on its plan to conduct a SEA Games qualifying event in the city.
Patafa chose Baguio for the qualifying performance following the successful conduct of the Philippine Athletics Championships on Dec. 16 to 17, 2021 at the Athletic Bowl.
The 2021 Ayala Philippine Athletics Championship was held without any untoward incident and Patafa was lauded for ensuring the health of all athletes, coaches, and other participants.
Reigning SEA Games marathon queen Christine Hallasgo displayed an overwhelming performance during the event that also saw the participation of world-class athletes in track and field.
The event also saw the historic comeback of Baguio athletics pride Katherine Khay Santos, 31, who claimed two gold medals – one each in long jump and 100-meter dash and the “fastest woman” special award.
Earlier, Patafa mulled to set a bubble training in Baguio as part of its preparations for the SEA Games set in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.
The Patafa executive committee earlier sought audience with the Philippine Sports Commission on when the bubble training would start this year.
Among those pushing for bubble training is former multiple Olympian and now national long-distance running coach Eduardo Buenavista, who opted to settle in Baguio with his family.
Athletics was one of the best performing events by the country when it hosted the SEA Games two years ago at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, as the national squad members hauled 11 gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals including a 1-1-2 (gold-silver-bronze) haul in long-distance events. – Harley F. Palangchao