PERTH, AUSTRALIA: Sun Yat Sen School Kalibo’s Kyla Soguilon and Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque’s Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh spearheaded the Philippine Swimming League’s (PSL) seven-gold, two-silver, one bronze medal haul on the opening day of the prestigious 2016 Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge on Saturday at the Challenge Stadium here.
Soguilon, the reigning PSL Female Swimmer of the Year, dominated the girls’ 11-12 50-meter freestyle in 29.56 seconds to claim the country’s first gold. She defeated Alisha Layla Franklin of Singapore (30.31) and Nao Takahashi of Japan (30.75).
Moments later, Mojdeh also made a statement by ruling the girls’ 9-10 100m breaststroke with a time of one minute and 31.09 seconds, beating Lanihei Connolly of Germany (1:33.53) and Amy Kerr of Australia (1:37.70.
Sharing the spotlight were Joy Rodgers of University of the Philippines (UP), Drew Benett Magbag of UP Integrated School and Ferdinand Ian Trinidad of Pedro Guevarra National High School Laguna, who topped their respective events.
Rodgers bagged the top honors in the girls’ 17-over 100m breaststroke (1:18.66) while Magbag checked in at 1:10.21 – a couple of seconds slower than his personal best – but was good enough to snatch the boys’ 15-16 100m breaststroke gold medal.
Trinidad contributed one gold as he reigned supreme in the boys’ 13-14 100m breaststroke (1:18.14).
“It’s a good start for us. We still have more events on the second day and we’re looking forward to continue our winning ways against tall and strong swimmers from different countries,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
The two other gold medals were from the boys’ 13-14 4x50m freestyle relay and girls’ 11-12 4x50m freestyle relay.
Winning silver medals were PSL Male Swimmer of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas (boys’ 15-16 50m freestyle, 25.85) and Mojdeh (50m freestyle, 32.84) while Lucio Cuyong 2nd chipped in one bronze (boys’ 100m breaststroke, 1:23.41).
Papa expressed gratitude to Filipino-Australasian Club, Inc.’s (FACI) David Wotherspoon and Vicki Wotherspoon, Filipino-Australian Club of Perth, Inc.’s (FACPI) Landy Matugas and Brad Matugas, Ferdinand Francis Pisa, Carol Allen, Fr. Con Bagaoisan OSJ and Hertz Australia.
“The kids are pumped up. They are extra motivated because the Filipino community here in Perth is throwing so much support to the team. We are so thankful to them for helping us here especially to Mrs. Vicki Wotherspoon and her husband, and Brad Matugas and Landy Matugas,” added Papa.
Also in the team are PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, coaches Alex Papa and Marlon Dula, PSL Regional Director Joan Mojdeh, Team Manager Mojd Mojdeh, and Gina Cusing, Vicky Soguilon, Dennar Magbag and Dindo Cuyong.
Seeing action on Day 2 are Marc Bryan Dula of Weisenheimer Academy, Paul Christian King Cusing of Diliman Preparatory School and Jux Keaton Solita of UST as well as John Gabriel Bucad, Kobe Soguilon, Roger Dante Giron, Lowestein Julian Lazaro, Namahig Asa Mahiwo, Albert Sermonia 2nd and Francis Sherwyn Tan.
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).