More than 200 tankers will be vying for honors in the 94th Philippine Swimming League (PSL) National Series dubbed as the 3rd Cong. Ted Haresco Jr. Swimming Cup and Open Water Competition beginning today at the Aklan Provincial Sports Complex in Makato, Aklan.
All eyes will be on reigning PSL Female Swimmer of the Year at Philippine Junior Athlete of the Year Kyla Soguilon, who recently won the Most Outstanding Swimmer award in elementary girls of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa held in Legazpi City, Albay.
The tournament also serves as qualifying event for the prestigious 29th Summer World University Games scheduled next year in Taipei, Taiwan as well as other international tournaments in Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Canada.
“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,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
PSL President Susan Papa announced that “those who will pass the qualifying standard which is almost equivalent to the Olympic qualifying mark will be subsidized by PSL. In other words, their participation in the Taiwan Universiade will be free – from airfare, accommodation, etc.”
To get an all-expense paid trip to Taiwan Universiade, a swimmer must meet the qualifying mark set by the PSL.
“We want to bring our competition to the next level. We want to challenge every swimmer to aim high, aim for big international competitions. A medal won in any international competition shines brighter than a medal won locally,” stressed Papa.
For male swimmers, the qualifying times are 50m free (23.55), 100m free (51.25), 200m free (1:52.25), 400m free (3:59.05), 1,500m free (15:55.00), 100m back (56.76), 200m back (2:02.86), 100m breast (1:03.09), 200m breast (2:16.77), 100m fly (54.69), 200m fly (2:01.56), 200m Individual Medley (2:04.89) and 400m IM (4:26.19).
The qualifying norms for female are 50m free (26.67), 100m free (56.84), 200m free (2:03.63), 400m free (4:18.30), 800m free (8:55.96), 100m back (1:02.86), 200m back (2:15.67), 100m breast (1:10.72), 200m breast (2:32.58), 100m fly (1:01.30), 200m fly (2:14.36), 200m Individual Medley (2:19.46) and 400m IM (4:53.88).
Teams from Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Capiz have already confirmed participation along with those from National Capital Region, Cavite, Bicol, Davao, Baguio, Laguna, Pampanga, Quezon and Mindoro.
“We are thankful to the local government unit of Aklan for once again allowing us to stage our PSL National Series in Aklan. We have a lot of talents in this region and we are looking to discover more young tankers for future international competitions,” added Papa.
Some of the top tankers seeing action in the two-day meet are Marc Bryan Dula of Weisenheimer Academy, Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas, Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary-Paranaque, Paul Christian King Cusing of Diliman Preparatory School and Joey Del Rosario of De La Salle-Zobel.
“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,” ended Papa.
EMIL C. NOGUERA