More than 300 tankers will be gunning for honors in the 89th Philippine Swimming League (PSL) National Series dubbed as the Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Swim Meet beginning today at the Makati Aquatic Sports Arena in Makati City.
The event will serve as qualifying for international competitions this year including the 2016 Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge in Perth, Australia and the Hong Kong Stingray Invitational Swimming Meet.
Slots for the 2017 Summer World University Games to be held in New Taipei City, Taiwan are also up for grabs in the event organized by PSL in cooperation by the Makati City government and Academy of Holistic Garden coach Marlon Mendez.
“This event is open to all swimmers who want to qualify for international tournaments that we’ll be joining this year and the World University Games next year. We are also thankful to Makati Mayor Kid Peña for making it possible for the PSL to conduct the first competition of the year in a long course competition,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
“We’ve received a lot of invitations to compete abroad like in China, Japan, US, Germany and Canada and we want our young swimmers to experience competing internationally to further hone their skills. Sending them abroad is part of our program,” added the PSL chief.
Seeing action in the Makati meet are University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 gold meda¬list Drew Benett Magbag of University of the Philippines Integrated School, reigning Male Swimmer of the Year Sean Te¬rence Zamora and Gwangju University Games veteran Jux Keaton Solita of University of Santo Tomas, Marc Bryan Dula of Weissenheimer Academy, Lans Rawlin Donato of UP, Singapore Invitational Swimming Meet medalist Joey del Rosario of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, Female PSL Swimmer of the Year top candidate Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paraña¬que, and Lowenstein Julian Lazaro and John Leo Paul Salibio.
They are revving up for the 2016 Tokyo Invitational Swimming Championship scheduled on February 4 to 10 in Japan.
“We want to open the gates to these young swimmers who want to represent our country in international competitions. We want the swimmers to be spiritually and physically alive and share the lifetime wisdom,” stressed Papa.
Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers by age band while trophies await the Most Outstanding Swimmer awardees.
Two swimmers (one male and one female) with the highest International Swimming Federation (FINA) points will receive the Presidential Trophies and P1,500 cash incentive each.
PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP), internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).
EMIL C. NOGUERA