CAPE TOWN, South Africa: The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) closed out its campaign with another five gold medals including four mints from McTracy Alindogan in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center.
Alindogan, the 2013 Swimmer of the Year, swept all his remaining four events—200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 50m backstroke and 100m breaststroke—in the boys’ 13 years on the final day of the competition to become the most decorated swimmer in the tournament.
He won a total of eight golds and two silvers. The 13-year-old Angeles University Foundation Grade 7 student earlier ruled the 50m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 400m individual medley and 50m freestyle, and placed second in the 100m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.
The last gold medal was delivered by University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 Most Valuable Player Denjylie Cordero of University of the Philippines after topping the girls’ 17-over 100m breaststroke.
Cordero has four golds including her 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley titles on top of one silver (400m individual medley) and one bronze (200m freestyle).
“It’s the fighting spirit, hard core determination and strength of the heart. No government funding never a setback for our young swimmers with right motivation, attitude and fighting spirit,” said former senator Nikki Coseteng, Diliman Preparatory School President and Philippine delegation head.
Overall, the Philippines collected 18 golds, 11 silvers and six bronzes in the tournament participated by more than 400 swimmers from 31 teams in the region.
“Everybody was just surprised as to how fast our young Filipino swimmers are. It was really a strong finish for us here having the final count of 35 medals. I am satisfied and I’m so proud of our swimmers. These are the future of Philippine swimming,” PSL President Susan Papa said.
“Our monthly PSL competition is paying off. It takes a lot of sacrifice to be able to do it as we have said again and again we don’t have financial support from the government but we have our Almighty support, we have beyond the support of human. The wisdom is there and the Holy Spirit guidance all the time with PSL,” said Papa.
Papa further said: “to have a monthly local, regional and international competition in our PSL program takes a lot of huge money so it’s very difficult without regular support from anyone but miraculously doing it and we thank God for that.”
Diliman Preparatory School’s (DPS) Portia Kate Doragos was also glittering with four golds (girls’ 13 years 1,500m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke), four silvers (200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 50m breaststroke and 100m butterfly) and two bronzes (200m freestyle and 50m freestyle).
Not to be outdone was another DPS talent, John Carlo Doragos, who contributed one gold (boys’ 15 years 400m freestyle) two silvers (800m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle) and one bronze (400m individual medley) as well as Kyla Soguilon of Aklan, who chipped in one gold (girls’ 10-under 100m freestyle) and two silvers (200m individual medley and 50m freestyle).
Emanuel Joshua Lorbes of Montessori de Manila (boys’ 16 years 50m butterfly) and Jifrey Azor of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (boys’ 17-over 50m backstroke) bagged one bronze each in their favorite events.
Seven-year-old Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, the youngest swimmer in the tournament, was adjudged as the “Darling of the Crowd.”
“They cannot believe she was beating the big girls and the big boys. She became the crowd favorite praising her for how fast she is in such a very young age. Ranking fifth place in the 200m freestyle is such a huge thing for she competed against the 10 yrs old girls,” added Papa.
The team is supported by Diliman Preparatory School headed by former Sen. Coseteng, 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.