• PSL duo sizzles in Nairobi meet

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    SUSAN PAPA

    Philippine Swimming League (PSL) standouts Rowena De Guzman and Risha De Guzman dominated 10 individual events and posted six runner-up finishes besting their opponents in the Nairobi Swimming Association (NASA) Sr. and Jr. Swimming Championships in Kenya.

    Risha De Guzman had a solid start by winning seven individual races in the NASA Jr. League Swimming Championships held at GEMS International School in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya on February 4 to 5.

    In the first day, Risha won the 200 SC Meter IM in 2:56:81 surpassing his previous best by 4.50 seconds.

    He ruled next the 50 SC Meter Butterfly in 37.92. He beat his record in the 50 SC Meter Backstroke by 3.72 seconds with a first place finish of 40.81.

    In the second day of the meet, he reigned supreme in the 100 SC Meter IM by registering his personal best of 1:25.74.

    The 11-year old Risha swept the breaststroke events by registering a time record of 1:36.52 in the 100 SC meter, 42.61 in the 50 SC meter and 3:26.69 in the 200 SC meter contests.

    He finished second in the 50 SC meter freestyle with 34.81.

    Risha earned a total of 54 points to top the 11-year old Boys category at the conclusion of the two-day tourney.

    Meanwhile, Risha’s elder sister, 14-year old Rowena of the Braeburn Swimming Team (Sr.) also started the year with an impressive performance in the NASA Senior League Swimming Championships held last January 21-22, at St. Austin Academy School in Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya by securing three first place plums and five second place finishes in the girls 14-15 category.

    Rowena entered the meet with a previous best time of 1:18.89 in the 100 SC meter backstroke event that she posted during the 2016 NASA Invitational in Mombassa. She surpassed it this year by finishing first with 1:14.89.

    She also beat her previous best in the 50 SC meter backstroke by .22 seconds with 34.68.

    She recorded her best time record of 35.08 in the 50 SC meter butterfly.

    She finished second in five events registering 1:08.38 in 100 SC meter freestyle, 42.81 in 50 SC meter breaststroke, 2:57.20 in 200 SC meter IM, 2:45.60 in 200 SC meter backstroke and 31.53 in 50 SC meter freestyle.

    At end of the two-day meet, Rowena ruled the girls 14-15 category with a total of 46 points.

    The Sea Horses Team won the overall championship crown of the 2017 NASA Senior League Swimming Championships.

    The Kenya School of Swimming and Braeburn Swimming Team (Sr.) finished second and third, respectively.

    “Risha and I really worked hard and sacrificed for this as we train every morning at 5:30 a.m. six days a week at Braeburn swimming pool.” Rowena said.

    The De Guzman siblings also made their presence felt in the NASA Distance Meet (long course) held at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology last November 26 to 27, 2016 where they’ve won nine medals including two gold medals.

    Risha and Rowena, both members of the Grand Villa Swimming Team in the Philippines, are now preparing for the annual South African Regional Age Group Champs 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa this March.

    They will also test their mettle against foreign swimmers in the Hamilton Aquatics Doha Long Course Meet to be held at the Hamad Aquatics Centre in Doha, Qatar on April 28 to 29.

    Risha and Rowena are regularly participating in PSL and NASA competitions in Philippines and Kenya.

    The PSL is happy with the exposure given to these young swimmers. It’s one way of motivating them and giving them confidence. It is a job well done and I would like to congratulate the De Guzman siblings.

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