CAPE TOWN, South Africa: Palarong Pambansa standout McTracy Alindogan delivered the country’s first medal in the Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala on Saturday at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center.
Alindogan, the 2013 Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Swimmer of the Year, timed one minute and 7.87 seconds to take the silver in the boys’ 13 years 100-meter backstroke.
“I was slow in the first 50 meters. My opponents were bigger but I was able to keep up with them. I’ll do better in the next events,” said Alindogan, a Grade 7 student at Angeles University Foundation.
Gary-Paige Mattheys of Grey-South Africa took the gold with one minute and 7.77 seconds and Luke Cillie of Cybe-South Africa the bronze with one minute and 9.62 seconds.
University of the Philippines’ Denjylie Cordero and Portia Kate Doragos of Diliman Preparatory School (DPS) contributed a bronze each for the Philippine team.
Cordero, the reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Most Valuable Player, clocked 2:21.29 in the girls’ 17-over 200m freestyle event behind gold medalist Marna Louwrens of Vine-South Africa (2:18.08) and silver winner Renelda Scholtz of Swar-South Africa (2:18.39).
Doragos’ 2:27.56 earned her the bronze in the girls’ 13 years 200m freestyle behgind gold medalist Jule Hackscher of Cado-South Africa (2:20.74) and silver medalist Lauren Smith also of Cado-South Africa (2:25.99).
“Our swimmers are really working hard to get medals here. There are 31 teams and more than 400 swimmers in this competition. It’s not that easy competing against these strong swimmers in the region – the home of some world records holders,” said Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa.
“But despite their [Africans] height advantage, we were able to give them a good fight. It’s a great learning experience for our swimmers,” Papa said.
The seven-year-old Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, the youngest swimmer and crowd favorite, placed fifth in the girls 10-under 200m freestyle (3:10.58) and ninth in the 100m backstroke (1:40.56).
Nine-year-old Kyla Soguilon finished sixth overall in the girls’ 10-under backstroke (1:33.83).
Bangkok Meet gold medalists Emanuel Joshua Lorbes ended up 16th in the boys’ 100m backstroke (1:13.35), Jifrey Azor placed 11th in the boys’ 17-over 100m backstroke (1:11.86) and John Carlo Doragos wound up seventh in the boys’ 15-16 years 200m freestyle (2:09.35).
“Jasmine went up against taller swimmers but she was not intimidated,” said delegation head Nikki Coseteng.
The team is supported by DPS, Unlitravel Online, Qatar Airways and Aqua Sphere.
The PSL is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines and the longest running swimming grassroots program in the country.