PERTH, Australia: Philippine Swimming League (PSL) ended its campaign on a high note by earning 15 more gold medals and notching four new records at the close of the prestigious 2016 Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge held at the Challenge Stadium here.
Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas, Drew Benett Magbag of University of the Philippines Integrated School, Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College and Kyla Soguilon of Sun Yat Sen School Kalibo posted new records in their respective favorite events.
Zamora got four gold in the boys’ 15-16 event highlighted by his record-breaking feat in the 200m Individual Medley. He established a new record of two-minute, 20.46-second, besting the 2:24.65 old mark of Magbag last year.
The reigning Male Swimmer of the Year also dominated the100m butterfly (1:00.23), 50m backstroke (29.40) and 100m freestyle (56.62).
Not to be outdone was Magbag who posted 2:23.52 in the boys’ 16-year 200m IM, good enough to erase the 2:25.42 old mark of fellow PSL standout Martin Jacob Pupos. He also ruled the 50m breaststroke (32.31) and 200m freestyle 2:11.36).
For their parts, Mojdeh pocketed three mints in girls’ 9-year while Soguilon got two in girls’ 11-year.
Mojdeh had 1:17.66 in the 100m butterfly event – two seconds faster than the 1:19.47 previous mark of Soguilon in the 2015 edition before winning the 200m freestyle (2:40.55) and 200m IM (2:54.16) top honors.
Soguilon was also in her best form in the 200m IM, posting 2:43.60 to smash the 2:51.91 old mark of Hoizumi of Japan in 2015. She won another gold in 100m butterfly (1:13.53) but failed to complete a sweet sweep as she finished third in the 100m freestyle (1:06.16).
The other gold medal winners were Ferdinand Ian Trinidad (boys’ 13-14 100m butterfly), and Albert Sermonia (boys’ 11-year 200m freestyle).
Overall, the PSL team will be going home with 48 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronzes – surpassing their 41-gold, 13-silver, eight-bronze output last year.
PSL President Susan Papa said that the team was grateful for the help of Dave Wotherspoon and Vicki Wotherspoon of Filipino-Australasian Club, Inc., Landy Matugas and Brad Matugas of Filipino-Australian Club of Perth, Inc., Francis Pisa, Fr. Christian Saminal, Rodolph Catbagan, Carol Allen, Fr. Con Bagaoisan OSJ, Hertz Australia, Finis Philippines and The Manila Times.
“We would like to thank the Filipino Community for helping us during our stay here in Australia. We truly felt the bayanihan spirit. Hindi nawawala sa puso at isip nila ang pagiging Pilipino kaya malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa kanila,” said Papa, who was accompanied by PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, Regional Director Joan Mojdeh, Team Manager Mojd Mojdeh and coaches Alex Papa and Marlon Dula.
“I would like to congratulate the swimmers, the parents and coaches. It’s a job well done. Sending them in international competition is part of our program and we’re happy that they performed so well in this competition against strong and tall rivals,” said Papa.
EMIL C. NOGUERA