A strong 11-tanker Philippine Swimming League (PSL) delegation will be competing in the 2016 Hamilton Aquatics Winter Long Course Swimming Championship scheduled on December 16 to 17 at the Gems Nations Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Leading the start-studded cast are Philippine junior record holder Jerard Dominic Jacinto of University of the East, reigning Male Swimming of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and National Collegiate Athletic Association champion Sean Elijah Enero of Mapua Institute of Technology.
During the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79, Jacinto broke the national records in the 50m backstroke (28.67) of Rafael Barreto, 200m backstroke (2:11.22) of John Clado, and his previous mark of 1:01.25 in 100m backstroke.
In the same event, Zamora nailed new mark in 200m Individual Medley via a 2:12.41-minute showing, besting the 2:14.68 old time of Alberto Batungbacal established three years ago.
“It’s our first time to compete in Middle East and we’re looking forward to another successful campaign. These swimmers are no pushovers. They are raring to compete against the best tankers in the region,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Seeing action in the girls’ category are Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque, Triza Haileyana Tabamo of College of Holy Spirit-Tarlac and Kyla Soguilon of Aklan, who are all veterans of international tournaments.
Joining them in the team are Diliman Preparatory School standouts Paul Christian King Cusing and Albert Sermonia 2nd, Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Rio Lorenzo Malapitan of Divine Word College-Calapan, Drew Benett Magbag of University of the Philippines and Jeffrey Hirao of College of Saint Benilde.
PSL wants to finish the season on a high note after its impressive showing in the Tokyo Winter Swimming Championship in Japan in February, Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge in Perth, Australia in March, Stingray Invitational Swimming Championship in Hong Kong in April, SICC Swimming Championship in Singapore in August, Midget Meet in Singapore in September, and the Buccaneer Swimming Championship in Tokyo, Japan in October.
“We only have 11 swimmers in the lineup but these kids are all potential gold medal winners. It’s a good exposure for them, competing against their foreign counterparts. Sending them abroad is part of our program for these young swimmers,” added Papa.
The first batch composed of Mojdeh, Soguilon and Tabamo along with Papa and PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa has already left for Dubai on Tuesday.
The second batch will be leaving today (Wednesday).