Imus, Cavite—Members of the national athletics team, most especially those who going to the 2018 Asian Games, will have the privilege of feeling like rock stars on their final stages of preparation.
And that’s exactly how Olympian Marestella Torres-Sunang said when she started training at the newly-opened Vermosa Sports Hub right before it was officially made accessible to the public last March.
“Nag-start ako dito bago mag-open. Kasi masyado na ma-traffic. Affected ang training ko sa sobrang haba ng biyahe,” said Torres-Sunang when she made a decision to give up on her daily training routine at the Philsports Complex oval in Pasig.
Torres-Sunang said she became more focused, while doing her routines at the tartan track oval and sand pit of the Vermoa grounds in Imus, Cavite that is now being developed by Ayala Land, Inc.
The national athletes will have the privilege of training in the only International Association of Athletics Federation-certified track and field oval in the country.
“OK na ang track oval, pero under construction pa iyung gitna. So, nakiusap ako na maki-gamit ng facility,” added Torres-Sunang, who achieved the Olympic qualifying standard in the Women’s Long Jump in the Kazakhstan Open and setting a new national record of 6.72 meters, while trying to make it to the Rio Olympics two years ago.
The track facility sits in an 800-hectare lot that Ayala Land is developing into a residential area. And it will have state-of-the-art amenities when the developers are done with it.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico said during yesterday’s launch that the next 10 weeks will be a good time time to prepare the members of the national team with the good facilities available.
“The Asian Games is a very real goal. But the real objective is the Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 2019. And we’re preparing a team which has never been treated before in this manner,” said Juico, who added that the Vermosa facility will provide the national team its basic needs before the members fly to Indonesia this August.
“We are thankful to our athletes. Para tayong rock stars dito. Kumpleto,” said Juico.
Developers have also completed a FINA-certified 50-meter swimming pool that will go with the 600-sq. meter Sante Fitness Lab, a strength and conditioning fitness facility, sports rehabilitation areas, a dance studio, a spinning class area and a nutrition and fitness cafe.
“We believe in our national athletes’ potential to inspire, drive and instill collective nationalism through sports,” said Ayala’s John Philip Orbeta.
Juico said that instead of an 8-member contingent, they now have 13 tracksters going to the Asiad.
This includes marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, Torres-Sunang, decathlete Aries Toledo, middle distance runner Marco Vilog, triple jumper Mark Harry Diones, sprinters Trenten Beram and Eric Cray.
They have added Fil-American sprinter Kristina Knott to the mix, along with Francis Medina (400-meters), Clinton Bautista (100 meter hurdles), long jumper Janry Ubas and Anfernee Lopena (100-meters).
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