TOKYO: University of the Philippines Integrated School’s Charize Juliana Esmero and Divine Word College-Mindoro’s Rio Lorenzo Malapitan bagged two gold medals each to spearhead the country’s eight-gold medal haul on day two of the 2015 Japan Invitational Swimming Championship being held at the Tokyo International Swimming Pool here.
Esmero, a medalist in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78, continued her impressive showing by capturing the girls’ 11-12 100-meter backstroke gold in one minute and 9.84 seconds and the 200m Individual Medley top honors in 1:15.02.
Malapitan also made his presence felt by ruling the boys’ 11-12 50m breaststroke (37.38) and 100m breaststroke (1:22.98) in the tournament participated in by tankers from Great Britain, US, China, Japan, the Netherlands and host Japan.
Also securing gold medals were Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Angela Claire Torrico of School of Holy Spirit of Quezon City.
The 15-year-old Zamora pocketed the boys’ 15-18 years 100m backstroke crown with a time of 1:01.68 while Torrico dominated ther girls’ 9-10 100m backstroke (1:37.12). Zamora added a silver in the 200m IM (2:14.38).
The two other gold medals were delivered by Torrico, Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, Kyla Soguilon and Joanna Cervas in the girls’ 9-10 200m freestyle relay and 200m medley relay.
The bronze medals were from Mala¬pitan (50m freestyle, 30.74), Torrico (200m IM, 1:29.57), Zamora 200m freestyle (2:06.87), Lans Rawlin Donato of UP (boys’ 15-18 50m freestyle, 25.27) and Paul Christian King Cusing of Diliman Preparatory School (boys’ 15-18 100m backstroke, 1:04.68).
“The kids are pumped up and extra motivated since they are competing against the some of the best swimmers. ‘Yung ibang mga kasali dito galing sa competition sa FINA World Cup kaya talagang malalakas ang mga kalaban,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
So far, the Philippines has 13 golds, four silvers and 10 bronzes, counting the five-gold, three-silver, five-bronze output on the opening day.
Soguilon, Mojdeh and Esmero are expected to win gold medals when they compete in their respective favorite events while Zamora, Donato, Drew Magbag and Kobe Soguilon vie for medals in relay.
The Kalibo Sun Yat Sen School standout Soguilon hopes to sweep all her three remaining events (50m butterfly, 200m IM and 50m freestyle) while Mojdeh takes part in the 100m breaststroke and 50m breaststroke.
Esmero’s last event is 200m freestyle.
“We’re hoping that our medal collection won’t stop there. Malakas ang tsansa ng mga bata lalo na sa mga susunod na events dahil yun talaga ang paborito nilang events,” added Papa.
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).
EMIL C. NOGUERA