The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) completed a stellar performance in the 2016 Hamilton Aquatics Winter Long Course Swimming Championship by bagging a total of 21 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque’s Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh saved the best for last winning four more gold medals on the final day of the competition.
A Susan Papa Swim Academy product, Mojdeh dominated the girls’ 10-year 100m freestyle (1:09.76), 200m Individual Medley (2:44.66), 50m butterfly (32.44) and 100m backstroke (1:22.40).
It was a perfect run for the 10-year-old Mojdeh, who also won gold medals in the 50m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m breaststroke in the opening day.
Philippine national junior record holder Jerard Dominic Jacinto of University of the East, Albert Sermonia 2nd of Diliman Preparatory School and Triza Haileyana Tabamo of Holy Spirit School-Tarlac also made their presence felt by contributing three gold medals each.
Jacinto ruled the boys’ 15-year 50m backstroke (27.92), 200m backstroke (2:14.08) and 100m backstroke (59.92) while Sermonia topped the boys’ 11-year 200m butterfly (3:08.20), 100m freestyle (1:06.62) and 50m butterfly (33.89). Tabamo ruled the girls’ 9-year 400m IM (6:53.44), 50m backstroke (40.55) and 200m backstroke (3:13.10).
Kyla Soguilon of Sun Yat Sen School-Kalibo chipped in two golds (girls’ 12-year 100m freestyle, 1:05.37, and 50m butterfly, 31.60), while Rio Lorenzo Malapitan of Divine Word College-Calapan had one gold (boys’ 13-year 50m butterfly, 29.96).
“Winning 21 gold medals in a strong field like this is such a blessing. Competing against some Olympians like Adam Peaty is a good opportunity for our young swimmers to get inspired and some day be like him,” said PSL President Susan Papa, who was accompanied in the meet by PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa ang Regional Director Joan Mojdeh.
Winning silver medals were Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas (boys’ 16-over 400m IM, 200m IM and 50m butterfly), Sean Elijah Enero of Mapua Institute of Technology (boys’ 16-over 50m backstroke), Paul Christian King Cusing of Diliman Preparatory School (boys’ 16-over 200m butterfly), Soguilon (400m IM, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 200m backstroke and 100m backstroke), Sermonia (100m butterfly and 200m IM), Tabamo (200m butterfly and 400m freestyle), and Malapitan (100m butterfly).
The bronze medal winners were Drew Benett Magbag of University of the Philippines (boys’ 16-over 200m breaststroke at 200m IM), Jeffrey Michael Hirao of College of Saint Benilde (boys’ 16-over 100m backstroke), Tabamo (50m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m butterfly), Sermonia (50m freestyle and 400m freestyle), Malapitan (100m breaststroke and 50m breaststroke), Enero (50m freestyle) and Zamora (100m butterfly).
“We would also like to thank the Filipino community here in Dubai for supporting us such as Francis Sigue, Botchok Avila and Sheila Avila. It’s a wonderful thing that the Bayanihan spirit is still there and we’re very grateful for that,” added Papa.