ILOILO: More than 200 swimmers will be vying for World Summer University Games berths when the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) 61st Leg Series unfurls today at the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University swimming pool.
Trophies and medals will be awarded to the Most Outstanding Swimmers in each age group (6-under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-over) for boys and girls but more importantly, the PSL will select talented swimmers for the World Summer University Games scheduled next year in Gwangju, South Korea.
“This competition is open to all. We are not requiring a membership just to be part of the Philippine Team going to the World University Games. As long as you meet the standards and you are willing to represent our country, you are in,” stressed PSL President Susan Papa.
“We want to democratize swimming in the Philippines. We want to give everyone a chance to experience world-class competitions like the Universiade. It’s a once in a lifetime experience as you’ll be competing against the world’s best student-athletes,” added Papa.
The PSL will be sending a total of 96 swimmers – 48 boys and 48 girls – from the National Capital Region as well as those from other parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The two-day meet will serve as tryout for some international competitions including the 2014 Royal Bangkok Meet in Thailand later this year. The PSL is also planning to send swimmers to China, Australia, Japan and South Africa next year.
Among the top contenders in the PSL Series Iloilo Leg are Trisha Lei Bongco, John Christian Bandejas, Franchino Aplaon and Ronald Kent Sta. Ana of JB Lacson Swimming Team; Kyla Soguilon, Kobe Soguilon and Michael Lozada of Aklan Swimming Team; Ythan Mtthw Orellana of Ibalong Swim Team; Rafael Lentejas of Ateneo de Manila University.
Besides host Iloilo, the other participating teams are from Aklan, Cebu, Capiz, Bacolod, Bicol and Manila.
“It’s going to be an exciting competition as these kids gun for slots in the World University Games. It’s just the beginning. We are hoping to discover fresh talents here for future international competitions,” said Papa.
The Iloilo Leg of the PSL Series is hosted by Ronald Sta. Ana of John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University. Also in attendance are PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa Secretariat Head Guia Llaguno and Technical Committee Chief Ed Mascardo.
The PSL is accredited by the Federation of School Sports of the Philippines, an affiliate to International Sports University Federation.