THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is aiming to hold a national open in Baguio at the end of the year.

This is part of the local athletes’ preparations for the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Philip Juico, (PATAFA) president, said they have already sent their proposal and safety protocols to the Philippine Sports Commission.

“We have submitted our proposal to the Philippine Sports Commission and the safety protocols. I guess that will be reviewed by the IATF. That is the fourth time we have sent our proposal for the training camp and to hold a national open in Baguio to end the year,” Juico said. 

He added they want to stage the athletics meet in Baguio so the athletes can familiarize themselves with the weather in Vietnam should it push through the same time next year.

The PATAFA chief added that the plan may still change as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the country.

“We hope to hold it at the track in Burnham Park around the middle of December when it’s cold. That aims to mimic the temperature in Hanoi around November to January as the SEA Games will be held that time,” he said. 

“We really meant to train in Baguio so that we can acclimatize ourselves for the same weather in Hanoi around that time but things may change and we have to adjust.”

PATAFA Marketing Communications Director Edward Kho said the association is also now in close coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for training their athletes, which will be under a bubble-type setup.

“It’s not yet cast in stone, but (Baguio City) Mayor Benjamin Magalong has given his approval in the event that Baguio will be the host of the national team’s training,” Kho said. 

Kho said they first needed to know the schedule of the Southeast Asian Games to determine the most suitable time for bubble training.

“Mahirap mag-training kung hindi alam ng atleta yung schedule ng tournament nya,” he said.

The 31st SEAG edition was originally scheduled in November this year, but host Vietnam decided to postpone it till next year due to the pandemic.