Philippines athletes arrive at Surrey Sports Park
03 July 2012
Olympic fever has hit Surrey Sports Park this week as athletes from the Philippines became some of the first international athletes to arrive at the centre for their pre-games training camp ahead of London 2012.
The first group consists of 100m freestyle swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi and 200m freestyle swimmer Jessie Lacuna with their coach Carlos Brosas.
Swimmer Alkhaldi said, “I am very excited yet at the same time nervous. But this is part of the game so it’s ok.
“I will also try to fight homesickness since we are staying here for more than a month,” she added.
Medal hopeful and 58kg women’s weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has also arrived from Manila to join alongside her fellow athletes.
Diaz placed eleventh in the women's 58kg weightlifting in Beijing 2008, despite being only 17 years old at the time, leading many to believe she is the country's strongest hope for a medal in 2012.
She was the first female weightlifter to compete for the Philippines in the Olympics and the country's second weightlifter overall.
Paul Blanchard, Surrey Sports Park Chief Executive said, “We are extremely excited to be welcoming out first international athletes from the Philippines to Surrey.
“We have been preparing for this moment for the last few years and with just over 20 days to go until the start of the big event, ‘our Games’ starts now.
“Over the coming two months we will welcome over 250 athletes and delegates which represents over 2000 bed nights at the University of Surrey and all the training and nutritional support that goes with that.
“As one of the key sports sites in Surrey, it’s great to play an important role in supporting this fantastic sporting event and these world class international athletes, and all our staff are relishing the opportunity to be a part of it.”
The University of Surrey Sports Park will welcome further athletes from Mongolia, Singapore and Estonia by the end of the week, with delegates from 14 nations in total expected to train at the centre over the next two months.