HONG KONG: Veteran campaigners Sean Terence Zamora and Christen Mercado will jumpstart the country’s bid in the 2014 HK Stingrays Swimming Championships beginning today at the Hong Kong International School swimming pool here.
Zamora, an incoming Grade 9 student at University of Santo Tomas Pay High School, plunges into action first in the boys’ 13 years 200-meter Individual Medley (IM) while Mercado, a member of the University of the Philippines champion team in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, takes part in the boys’ 17-over 200m IM.
“It’s going to be tough after seeing the seeding records of the other participating countries. But these swimmers are going all-out to get the gold medals in their respective events,” said Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa.
Zamora and Mercado are also entered in the 200m medley relay along with Gabriel Guerrero and Raymond Joshua Sevilla.
The finals of their events are scheduled at 5 p.m.
The other events of Zamora are 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 100m breastroke and 100m butterfly while Mercado has 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.
“There are lots of good swimmers in this tournament but we’re ready and prepared for this and we’re hoping to deliver just like what we did in Australia,” said Zamora referring to the 2014 Australia Swimming Championships-All Stars Challenge held last month in Perth.
In that event, the Philippines won 21 gold medals with Zamora bagging a total of 11 golds.
Besides Zamora and Mercado, the other members of the team are Kyla Soguilon in girls’ 9 years (100m IM, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke), Kobe Soguilon in boys’ 14 years (200m IM, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle), Mark Lawrence Sevilla in boys’ 9 years (100m IM, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m butterfly), Raymund Joshua Sevilla in boys’ 17-over (100m backstroke, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke) Grayel Guerrero in boys’ 13 years (200m IM, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle), Gabriel Guerrero in boys’ 14 years (200m IM, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle), Gaddiel Vicente San Pedro in boys’ 15 years (100m backstroke, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle and 200m freestyle), and Gabriel Bucad in boys’ 10 years (100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle).
“Each swimmer is allowed to compete in just six individual events and we maximized our participation in every age-group. This is a good opportunity for them to experience a high-level competition, improve their crafts and be at par with some of the region’s best swimmers,” added Papa.
Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam are expected to show up in the three-day meet.
“It’s part of our goal to give them proper exposure for future international competitions,” said 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.