Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa branded the year 2013 as a banner year for swimming after successful stints in some international tournaments and producing high-caliber young swimmers from different parts of the country.
Papa, an Olympian, has already mapped out another busy calendar for the swimmers next year to further hone the skills of the swimmers and hopefully reach the ultimate goal of winning a medal in the Olympics.
“We need to support these young swimmers because these are the future of Philippine swimming. We are aiming to discover exceptional young talents that would someday help the Philippines become one of the world’s powerhouse again in swimming,” said Papa.
The PSL started the season by bagging nine golds, three silvers and two bronzes in the Long Course 2013 Phuket Swim Championship held at the Thanyapura Sports Club in Phuket, Thailand in April. Gian Daniel Ong Berino pocketed six golds—200-meter freestyle, 200m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 800m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley. Robin Robin Seranillo (50m backstroke and 100m backstroke ) and Russell Seranillo (100m breaststroke) were accounted for the three other gold medals.
In May, the PSL team won two golds, six silvers and nine bronzes in the Standard Chartered Stingrays Invitational 2013 held in Hong Kong with Palarong Pambansa standout Maurice Sacho Ilustre leading the charge with one gold, three silvers and a couple of bronzes. Ilustre was named Most Outstanding Swimming in the boys’ 13 years category.
In August, the team continued its onslaught as it bagged 50 golds, 42 silvers and 30 bronzes in the 2013 Singapore International Age Group Swimming Championships held at the Singapore Island Country Club.
Paula Cayanan delivered nine golds while the 10-year-old Seth Isaak Martin also made some waves by winning five gold medals in record fashion.
The Philippines took the overall championship crown by collecting at total of 1,510 points.
Other gold medal winners were Dara Clarisa Evangelista, Charize Juliana Esmero, Nikki Yvonne Tantuachut, Emanuel Joshua Lorbes, Lans Rawlin Donato, McTracy John Alindogan, Troy Jordan Espiritu, Steven Kymson Tiu, Bettina Bianca Ting, Michael Lozada, Aaron Steven Ho, Celyn Parco, Jason Ryan Difuntorum, Angelica Mae Medrano, Ma. Angela Villamil and Kara Therese Colaste.
The PSL ended the season on a high note, earning a total medal haul of 28 golds in the 2013 Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC)— Invitational Swimming Championships recently held at the RBSC swimming pool also in Thailand.
University of the Philippines’ Ma. Claire Adorna, Zamora, Donato, Lozada, Alindogan, Lorbes, Villamil, Joy Rodgers, Jifrey Azur, Yuri Ilustre, Charles Ticbaen and Jackielyn Calvadores were named Most Outstanding Swimmers.
The PSL has lined up a number of local competitions through its PSL Swim Series beginning with the 52nd PSL Swim Series—1st Manila Times College Swim Championship on January 26 at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool in Manila.
It will serve as tryout for future international tournaments including the Cape Town Swimming Meet in February in South Africa and some competitions in South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and China.
“We’re excited for the coming year as we received a lot of invitations to compete abroad. It’s a good venue to develop these kids. We just need support from different sectors to sustain this grassroots development program,” added Papa.