Four Philippine Swimming League (PSL) standouts were recognized during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night on Tuesday at the Maynila Hall of The Manila Hotel.
PSL Swimmers of the Year Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque and Marc Bryan Dula of Wisenheimer Academy received the Tony Siddayao Award.
The plum is the highest award given to the best junior athletes in the country who performed well in local and international competitions.
The 12-year old Mojdeh won 56 gold, eight silver and two bronze medals in international competitions on top of setting five new Philippine records in her age group.
She is the current national record holder in 50m butterfly (30.44), 100m butterfly (1:07.88), 200m butterfly (2:31.38), 200m IM (2:32.94) and 400m IM (5:30.75)—all Quadruple A in American swimming standard.
At 12, Mojdeh broke the Philippine record in the girls’ 13-year 200m butterfly in two minutes and 25.82 seconds erasing the old mark of Regina Maria Paz Castrillo (2:26.13) in 2008.
Dula won gold medals in the Hamilton Aquatics Arena First Series in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hamilton Aquatics Doha Long Course in Doha, Qatar; Stingrays Invitational Meet in Hong Kong; 13th SICC Invitational Swimming Meet in Singapore; Bucaneer Invitational Swimming Meet in Tokyo, Japan; and the 2017 Hamilton Aquatics Winter Long Course Swim Meet in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“Change has indeed come. Now with a new Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas, the PSL is positive that the system will change. Vargas is God-sent, we sincerely believe that his future actions will uphold what is stated in our Constitution,” said PSL president Susan Papa when she personally met Vargas during the PSA Awards.
Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Jerard Dominic Jacinto of De La Salle-Zobel, owner of Philippine record in backstroke event also received a Tony Siddayao award.
Jacinto won medals in the 2017 Asean Schools Games in Singapore to help the Philippine Team finish sixth in the tilt with 13 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze medals.
“There is nothing that we want to achieve except that the system be fair and honest in its selection process,” added PSL chairman and former Senator Nikki Coseteng.
PSL mainstay Kyla Soguilon joined swimmer Sacho Ilustre and chess master Jia Doroy in the Junior Milo Team.