CAPE TOWN, South Africa: The eight-member Philippine Swimming League (PSL) team will be gunning for gold medals in 86 events when the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala unfolds today at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center.
University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) most bemedalled tanker Denjylie Cordero of University of the Philippines, the most veteran member of the team, takes part in the girls’ 17-over 200-meter butterfly, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley (IM) and 400m IM.
The 21-year-old Cordero is eyeing to surpass the standing national record in the 200m IM. She currently holds the UAAP record in that event with a time of 2:23.30.
Also seeing action are Emanuel Joshua Lorbes (boys’ 15-16 years), McTracy John Alindogan (boys’ 13 years), Jifrey Azor (boys’ 17-over), John Carlo Doragos (15 years), Portia Kate Doragos (girls’ 13 years), Kyla Soguilon (girls’ 10-under) and the seven-year-old Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 10-under).
“We’re optimistic of our chances here. We’ve been through a lot of training back in Manila and we’re hoping for a positive result. I’m sure they’ll give their best to bring honors to our country,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Lorbes competes in the 50m back, 100m back, 50m free, 200m free, 400m free, 50m fly, 100m fly, 200m fly and 200m IM while Alindogan participates in 100m back, 50m fly, 200m back, 50m breast, 400m IM, 50m free, 200m breast, 200m IM, 50m back and 100m breast; and Azor in 100m back, 200m back, 50m breast, 50m free, 100m free, 200m breast, 400m free, 50m back and 100m breast.
Other events are 200m free, 50m fly, 200m back, 1,500m free, 50m breast, 100m fly, 400m IM, 50m free, 200m fly, 100m free, 200m breast, 400m free, 800m free, 200m IM, 50m back and 100m breast for John Carlo; 200m free, 50m fly, 200m back, 1,500m free, 50m breast, 100m fly, 400m IM, 50m free, 200m fly, 100m free, 200m breast, 400m free, 800m free, 200m IM, 50m back and 100m breast for Portia Kate; and 100m back, 50m breast, 100m fly, 50m free, 100m free, 200m IM, 50m back and 100m breast for Soguilon.
Mojdeh, the youngest swimmer in the team will be competing against older foes in the 200m free, 50m fly, 50m breast, 50m free, 100m free, 200m IM, 50m back and 100m breast.
Former senator and Diliman Preparatory School President Nikki Coseteng, Unlitravel Online, Qatar Airways and Aqua Sphere pitched in assistance in different ways to ensure the participation of the PSL delegation in the Cape Town meet.
“Imagine, we have eight swimmers vying for medals in 86 events? These kids are all palaban. Makikita mo sa kanila na hindi talaga sila uurong kahit gaano pa kalalaki ang mga kalaban nila,” said Coseteng, who is also the delegation head.
The tournament drew more than 400 swimmers from different parts of the region.
“It’s a big challenge for our athletes competing against best swimmers in the region.
But they’re not afraid. They’re even motivated to perform well in this competition,” added Papa.
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.