The eight-man crack Philippine Swimming League (PSL) squad leaves for Cape Town, South Africa today to see action in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala scheduled on February 8 to 10 at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center.
Donning the national colors are reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion Denjylie Cordero of the University of the Philippines, Emanuel Joshua Lorbes, McTracy Alindogan, Jifrey Azor, Portia Kate Doragos, John Carlo Doragos, Kyla Soguilon and Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh.
Joining the swimmers are delegation head former senator and Diliman Preparatory School President Nikki Coseteng, PSL President Susan Papa, Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, Sonia Baltazar, Catherine Lorbes, Joan Melissa Mojdeh and Maria Victoria Soguilon.
Their participation is made possible by the PSL, Qatar Airways, Aqua Sphere and Unlitravel Inc.
“The swimmers are pumped up and ready to compete in this tournament. We are looking forward to a bright campaign in this once in a lifetime experience. As we all know, South Africa has a number of good swimmers. They are not ordinary swimmers, they are record holders,” stressed Papa.
The PSL chief is referring to South African world champion Cameron van der Burgh who holds the world record in 50-meter and 100m breaststroke both in long course and short course. The other notable swimmers from South Africa are record holders Roland Schoeman (50m freestyle) and Chad le Clos (200m butterfly).
“I cannot make any medal prediction but I’m very sure our swimmers will give their best to win gold medals,” added Papa.
Meanwhile, Coseteng assured a smooth-sailing participation of the country this time.
Coseteng recalled the incident in Malaysia and Australia a few years ago when Philippine Swimming Inc. (formerly known as Philippine Aquatics Sports Association) President Mark Joseph blocked their participation.
“Never again,” Coseteng told reporters during the delegation’s send off party at the Amici Restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan City.
The PSL is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports of the Philippines (FESSAP), which is the recognized body of the International Sports Federation (FISU).
“The PSL is sanctioned by FISU through FESSAP. So 100 percent it’s a go for our swimmers to compete there in Cape Town. The organizers also assured us about this. I’m so thankful that my friends are also there to support the team financially,” said Coseteng.