International campaigners Aishel Cid Evangelista and Richelle Anne Callera won the first two gold medals for the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) in the 2018 Japan Age-Group Swimming Championship on Saturday at the St. Mary’s International School swimming pool in Tokyo, Japan.
The West Manila Christian School standout Evangelista stamped his class in the boys’ 8-under 25m freestyle event with his impressive 16.46-second showing, beating taller foes from host Japan, China and some European countries.
Evangelista almost broke the 16.16-second tournament record of fellow Filipino and bemedalled tanker Miguel Molina who was a member of the St. Mary’s International School swimming team before he started competing in big international competitions including the Olympics, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.
Callera dominated the girls’ 8-under 25m freestyle with a time of 16.86 seconds while Kiara Acierto of Cagayan de Oro City earned the bronze after submitting 18.10 seconds.
“It’s just the start of the competition and we’re expecting more gold medals in the coming events. We’re so proud of these two young swimmers who are products of our grassroots development program. They are now reaping the fruits of their labor and we’re happy to see them grow each and every competition,” said PSL president Susan Papa.
Also expected to deliver medals are reigning PSL Swimmers of the Year Marc Bryan Dula of Wisenheimer Academy (boys’ 11-12) and Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque (girls’ 11-12).
“We are hoping that by sending these young swimmers to international meets, we would provide them with the experience and exposure they need for future big competitions,” stressed Papa, who was accompanied by PSL secretary general Maria Susan Benasa, and coaches Alexandre Papa and Virgie De Luna.
The other members of the team slated to compete in their respective age-groups are Triza Tabamo (girls’ 9-10), Master Charles Janda (boys’ 9-10), Trump Christian Luistro (boys’ 9-10), Nicholas Ivan Radovan (boys’ 11-12), Julia Ysabelle Basa (girls’ 9-10), Lawrence Jacob Arabes (boys’ 15-18), Lawrence Isaac Arabes (boys’ 15-18), Leonardo Dalman III (boys’ 13-14), Albren Jan Dayapdapan (boys’ 13-14), Christine Keith De Luna (girls’ 15-18), Lei Delos Trinos (girls’ 13-14), Lance Lotino (boys’ 13-14), Mervien Jules Mirandilla (boys’ 15-18), Alexander Radovan (boys’ 15-18) and Coby Marcus Rivilla (boys’ 9-10).