TOKYO: The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) started its bid on a bright note by bagging six golds, three silvers and four bronzes in the 2016 Tokyo Winter Swimming Championship on Sunday at the St. Mary’s International School swimming pool here.
Veteran international campaigners Marc Bryan Dula of Weisenheimer Academy, Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque and Joey Del Rosario of De La Salle-Zobel led the charge of the Filipino tankers as they won two gold medals each in their respective age bands.
Dula, a Most Outstanding Swimmer awardee in Singapore Swimming Meet, dominated the boys’ 8 years 25m backstroke in 19.41 seconds then followed it up with another golden feat in the 25m butterfly via an impressive 17.83-second showing.
For her part, Mojdeh, the country’s lone representative in the girls’ division, topped the 100m butterfly in one minute and 19.47 seconds in the 9-10 category.
Moments later, the PSL Female Swimmer of the Year top contender Mojdeh delivered her second dazzling performance as she blitzed the field with a time of 1:31.96 in ruling the 100m breaststroke event.
Sharing the spotlight was Del Rosario, who reigned supreme in the boys’ 8 years 25m freestyle in 16.76 seconds, just 0.50 short of breaking the 16.16 old mark of Olympian Miguel Molina established in 1993.
Del Rosario pocketed his second gold in the 50m freestyle (35.44).
“We’re overwhelmed with the performance of these young tankers Marc, Jasmine and Joey who were trained by Susan Papa Swim Academy coaches Alex Papa and Marlon Dula. They’re too close to breaking records in their respective events including Joey who’s just 0.50 of a seconds of Molina’s record. And they’re swimming in a cold weather [one degree],” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Besides six golds, PSL also copped three silvers and four bronzes.
University of the Philippines (UP) Integrated School’s Drew Benett Magbag checked in at 1:08.73 to finish second in the boys’ 15-over 100m breaststroke, dominated by FINA World Junior Championship veteran Joshua Brown of St. Mary’s International School-Japan (1:04.68).
Another UP standout Lans Rawlin Donato wound up second in the boys’ 15-over 100m butterfly (59.26) while the quartet of Magbag, Donato, Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Martin Jacob Pupos of National University took the runner-up honors in the boys’ 15-over 400m medley relay (4:05.15).
The bronzes were from Zamora (boys’ 15-over 50m freestyle, 25.27), Pupos (boys’ 15-over 200m freestyle, 1:59.60) Lowestein Julian Lazaro of Philippine Yuh Chiau School (boys’ 13-14 100m backstroke, 1:16.30) and Jux Keaton Solita of UST (boys’ 15-over 400m freestyle, 4:23.85).
“I’m happy to see all of them performing well despite the cold weather. I am positive that we will be able to surpass our eight-gold medal prediction earlier. We are looking forward to win more gold medals in the next events that we’ll be participating,” added Papa, who was accompanied by PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, coaches Alex Papa and Marlon Dula, and National Capital Region Director Joan Mojdeh.
PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP), internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).