Two Philippine Swimming League (PSL) standouts earned berths in the national junior team seeing action in the 9th Asean Schools Games slated on July 15 to 19 in Singapore.
Philippine national junior record holder Jerard Dominic Jacinto of University of the East and Drew Benett Magbag of University of the Philippines Integrated School made it to the elite list after their impressive showing in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa in Antique.
The 16-year-old Jacinto copped four gold medals in the Palarong Pambansa – all in record-breaking fashions among them 100m backstroke (59.64) and 200m backstroke (2:09.87).
Prior to that, Jacinto notched Philippine records in the 50m backstroke (27.33), 100m backstroke (59.06) and 200m backstroke (2:09.65) during the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 swimming competition at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool in Manila.
“We are happy that our grassroots development program works. The two swimmers were exposed to international tournament, competing with Olympians including Rio Games gold medalist Adam Peaty of Great Britain in Dubai. It gave them a lot of confidence in competing in local meets,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
On the other hand, Magbag established a new Palarong Pambansa mark in the 200m breaststroke (2:28.28). He also won gold in the 100m breaststroke (1:08.75).
Jacinto and Magbag were members of the National Capital Region quartet that broke the 4x50m medley relay (1:52.65) and 4x100m medley relay (4:01.16) records.
In the UAAP, Magbag won two silvers – in 50m breaststroke (30.70) and 100m breaststroke (1:07.57).
Joining Jacinto and Magbag in the Singapore-bound team are Andrei Pogingko, Christian Anor, Fritz Rodriguez, Ianiko Limfilipino, Jose Arcilla, Mark Rotoni, Sacho Ilustre and Philip Santos (boys), and Allen Santos, Althea Baluyut, Bela Magtibay, Bhay Newberry, Camille Buico, Janelle Lin, Kelsey Jaudian, Meah Pamintuan, Raven Alcoseba, Robin Tolentino and Zoe Hilario (girls).
“Other swimmers that are PSL participants in international competitions are Newberry, Hilario, Magtibay, Ilustre and Rodriguez while Anor, Arcilla, Limfilipino joined our local tournaments,” Papa ended.
EMIL C. NOGUERA