TOKYO: The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) got off to a hot start by snaring 13 medals including five golds on the opening day of the 2015 Japan Invitational Swimming Championship at the Tokyo International Swimming Pool here.
Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge multi-gold medalists Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque, Kyla Soguilon of Kalibo Sun Yat Sen School and Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas led the country’s campaign by bagging one gold each in their respective events.
The nine-year-old Mojdeh dominated the girls’ 9-10 years 100-meter butterfly in one minute and 18.22 seconds while Soguilon checked in at 33.85 seconds to top the girls’ 9-10 50m-backstroke category.
Zamora, the reigning Male Swimmer of the Year, reigned supreme in the boys’ 15-18 years 200m backstroke after registering 2:12.66, beating Japanese tanker Naoki Nomura, who submitted 2:21.48.
University of the Philippines (UP) Integrated School’s Charize Juliana Esmero and Divine Word College-Mindoro’s Rio Lorenzo Malapitan added one gold apiece in their respective age-groups in the tournament participated by tankers from Great Britain, China, US, the Netherlands and host Japan.
Esmero ruled the girls’ 11-12 50m backstroke in 32.23 seconds and Malapitan won the gold in the boys’ 11-12 50m butterfly via a 32.76-second showing.
“It was a great start as we already met our gold medal target here. But we are looking forward to win more medals in the coming days. We are happy that they are doing well despite the presence of some world-class tankers from United States, China and Japan,” said PSL President Susan Papa, who earlier predicted a five-gold medal haul in the Tokyo meet.
Besides five golds, the Philippines earned three silvers and five bronzes.
UP standout Lans Rawlin Donato delivered two silvers – boys’ 15-18 100m butterfly (58.68) and 100m freestyle (54.94) while University Athletic Association of the Philippines gold medalist Drew Benett Magbag chipped in one silver – boys’ 15-18 200m breaststroke (2:28.40).
The bronze medal winners were Angela Claire Torrico (girls’ 9-10 50m backstroke, 41.56),
Joanna Amor Cervas (girls’ 9-10 100m butterfly, 1:32.38), Paula Carmela Cusing (girls’ 11-12 100m butterfly, 1:32.38) and Paul Christian King Cusing (boys’ 15-18 50m butterfly, 27.37, and 200m backstroke, 2:29.94).
“They’re not bothered by the height and body built of their opponents. It’s an extra motivation for them to go all-out since they’re competing against best swimmers. Palaban ang mga bata, hindi sila natatakot kahit mas matatangkad ang mga kalaban nila,” added Papa.
Joining Papa in the delegation are PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, Regional Director Joan Mojdeh, Board Member Sonia Baltazar and coach Joey Andaya.
Trophies will be awarded to the most outstanding swimmer by age group while separate trophies will be given to the top male and female swimmers who will get the highest FINA (International Swimming Federation) points.
PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap), internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).