The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) copped a total of 16 gold, six silver and five bronze medals in the 2017 Hamilton Aquatics Winter Long Course Swimming Championships held at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
After a couple of runner-up finishes in the opening day, Male Swimmer of the Year Marc Bryan Dula of Wisenheimer Academy bounced back with a golden showing in the boys’ 11-year 200m butterfly.
The 10-year old Dula submitted three minutes and 3.18 seconds to pocket the top honors against tall and older foes.
“It’s really tough competing against tall and older swimmers but I’m happy that I was able to finally get a gold after several silver-medal finishes. I would like to thank coach Alex Papa and coach Susan Papa for guiding me all throughout the competition,” Dula said.
Dula earlier won four silver medals-50m butterfly (32.43), 400m freestyle (5:24.91), 400m IM (6:08.78) and 100m butterfly (1:16.85) – and a bronze in the 100m backstroke (1:19.96).
But the spotlight belongs to Female Swimmer of the Year Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College who completed a 12-gold sweep.
Mojdeh closed out the competition with a bang, nailing gold medals in the girls’ 11-year 200m Individual Medley (2:39.96), 50m butterfly (31.28), 400m freestyle (5:01.31), 50m breaststroke (37.60), 100m freestyle (1:07.71) and 200m butterfly (2:34.27).
Earlier, Mojdeh topped the 50m freestyle (31.01), 100m breaststroke (1:23.33), 400m Individual Medley (5:30.75), 200m freestyle (2:25.50), 100m butterfly (1:08.72) and 200m breaststroke (2:57.19) events.
Angela Torrico contributed a gold in the girls’ 11-year 100m backstroke in 1:20.72 and a bronze in the 50m breaststroke (40.45) while Albren Dayapdapan chipped in a silver in the boys’ 13-year 50m breaststroke (34.54).
“We’re happy with the outcome in this competition. It’s really hard to win medals in a world-class event and we’re lucky enough to get 16 gold medals. It only shows that our swimmers are at par with these world-class athletes,” stressed PSL President Susan Papa, who was accompanied by PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa and coach Alex Papa.
EMIL C. NOGUERA