BANGKOK: The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) started its campaign on a bright note, winning six golds, seven silvers and two bronzes on Saturday in the 2014 Royal Bangkok Swimming Championship being held at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club Swimming Pool here in Thailand.
Veteran campaigners Kyla Soguilon of Aklan and Daryl Concepcion of Diliman Preparatory School pocketed two gold medals each while Singapore Swimming Meet Most Outstanding Swimmer awardees Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh and Michael Gabriel Lozada delivered one gold each.
The nine-year-old Soguilon dominated the girls’ 9 years 100-meter freestyle in one minute and 11.46 seconds, beating Rae Low of Singapore (1:13.44) and Katie Lim of Hong Kong (1:14.47).
Soguilon grabbed her second gold by topping the 100m butterfly in 1:17.70 with Singapore bets Low (1:22.88) and Mei Hui Yau (1:23.18) settling for the silver and bronze, respectively.
Concepcion also made his presence felt as he bested 28 other competitors in ruling the boys’ 11-12 100m freestyle. He checked in at 1:02.24, better than the 1:02.95 of Shuen Young of China and 1:04.97 of Caleb Duval of Thailand.
The 12-year-old Concepcion claimed his second gold in the 50m breaststroke (1:17.70).
“Our grassroots training program works as we see good times of these age groupers. This is what we are telling the Philippine Sports Commission, this is the end result of the training program. We wish that the PSC Chairman should now realize that we are parallel to its objectives,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
For her part, Mojdeh, who saw action in the 2014 Western Cape Swimming Gala in South Africa, reigned supreme in the girls’ 8 years 50m breaststroke with a time of 47.40 seconds to outclass Chloe Burkill of Thailand (48.21) and Qian Yi Ricole Ong of Singapore (48.95).
Lozada, on the other hand, registered 48.87 seconds to top the topped the boys’ 7 years 50m breaststroke against Singapore’s Ren Yen Tay (50.64) and Vikesh Kay (51.09).
“These swimmers are aware of how they were treated by the PSC. They’re disappointed when the PSC didn’t approve our request for travel tax exemption. Pero lumakas ang loob ng mga bata sa suportang ibinigay nina Senators Pia Cayetano and Tito Sotto during the Senate hearing,” added Papa.
Winning silver medals were University of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s Martin Jacob Pupos (boys’ 15-over 100m freestyle), San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ Mico Abina (boys’ 15-over 50m breaststroke), Bicol’s Trisha Oliveros (girls’ 15-over 100m butterfly and 50m breaststroke), Soguilon (50m breaststroke), Concepcion (100m butterfly) and Lozada (100m freestyle).
Pupos (100m butterfly) and Oliveros (100m freestyle) added one bronze medal apiece.
“We still have a lot of events are we are optimistic that our medal target of 10 golds will be achieved in the second phase of the competition. So far, we have six golds and it’s just the start of the competition. You put the PSL down, swimmers will bounce back,” ended Papa.
The PSL is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines. It has the longest running swimming grassroots development program in the country. The PSL is also an affiliate to Federation International Sports University.