HONG KONG: The 10-member Philippine Swimming League (PSL) will be gunning for 10 gold medals in the the 2014 HK Stingrays Swimming Championships beginning on Friday at the Hong Kong International School swimming pool here.
PSL President Susan Papa made this bold prediction citing the hundred percent readiness of the team she considered a lean but mean squad.
“We are looking at 10 gold medals. We have a small delegation but these swimmers are well prepared and ready to take the challenge. I just told them to stay focused and do their best in each event they’ll be competing,” said Papa, who oversees the training of the swimmers at the posh Panda Hotel swimming pool in Tsuen Wan, New Territories.
All eyes will be on University of Santo Tomas standout Sean Terence Zamora, who steered the Philippine squad to a 21-gold medal haul in the 2014 Australia Swimming Championships-All Stars Challenge held in Perth.
Zamora, a 14-year-old incoming Grade 9 student at UST Pay High School, had an impressive 11-gold showing to get the Most Outstanding Swimmer award in the boys’ 14 years category.
Reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines Rookie of the Year Christen Mercado of University of the Philippines is also expected to make an impact along with Kyla Soguilon, Kobe Soguilon, Mark Lawrence Sevilla, Raymund Joshua Sevilla, Grayel Guerrero, Gabriel Guerrero, Gaddiel Vicente San Pedro and Gabriel Bucad.
Kyla has been a constant medal producer in international scene having won gold medals in the 2013 Royal Bangkok Swimming Meet in Thailand and 2014 Western Cape Swimming Gala in Cape Town, South Africa.
Former Palarong Pambansa and UAAP champion Denjylie Cordero mentors the Guerrero siblings and San Pedro.
“These kids are improving from time to time. They just need proper training and exposure to further hone their skills. These are the future of Philippine swimming and it’s our goal to produce world-class athletes who could represent our country in some big international tournaments in the future,” Papa said.
“One big tournament that we are looking at is the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea scheduled next year. It’s being held every two years and we want to prepare them as early as now,” added Papa.
PSL has the longest grassroots program in sport and is accredited by the Federation of School Sports of the Philippines, an affiliate to Federation International Sports University.