TOKYO: Philippine Swimming League standouts Jux Keaton Solita of University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Joey Del Rosario of De La Salle-Zobel will start the country’s bid as the 2016 Tokyo Winter Swimming Championship gets underway today at the St. Mary’s International School swimming pool here in Japan.
Solita will be the first in line when he competes in the boys’ 15-over 400-meter freestyle against Yutaro Sahara, Takashi Kanazawa, Eugene Decosse, Ryan Shimizu and Joshua Harper while Del Rosario takes part in the boys’ 8 years 50m freestyle against Jo Sendai, Yuichiro Kamiyama, Rentaro Nishioka and Teiju Ajeesh.
“We’re all set, everyone’s in high spirit and motivated. We are optimistic of our chances here medyo malamig hindi sanay ang mga bata but it won’t stop them to fight for medals,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Reigning Male Swimmer of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of UST and Lans Rawlin Donato of University of the Philippines (UP) plunge into action in the boys’ 15-over 50m freestyle while Drew Benett Magbag of UP Integrated School guns for medal in the boys’ 15-over 100m breaststroke.
“We’re also aiming for meet records. Filipino Olympian Miguel Molina actually owns one of the records he established in 1993. We’re hoping that our young swimmers like Joey del Rosario and Marc Bryan Dula break his old mark,” added Papa.
Female Swimmer of the Year top contender Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque (girls’ 9-10 100m breastroke) and Singapore Swim Meet Most Outstanding Swimmer awardee Marc Bryan Dula of Weisenheimer Academy (boys’ 8 25m backstroke) are expected to dominate their pet events against fancied rivals.
“Jasmine also aims to break records in breaststroke and butterfly events. She’s really doing well in our training,” Papa stressed.
Also seeing action are Martin Jacob Pupos of National University (boys’ 15-over 100m butterfly), John Leo Salibio of Diliman Preparatory School (boys’ 11-12 50m freestyle) and Lowenstein Julian Lazaro of Philippine Yuh Chiau School (boys’ 13-14 100m backstroke).
Besides PSL, the other competing teams are host St. Mary’s International School Buccaneers, American School in Japan Orcas Swim Team, The British School, The German School Eagles, Tokyo American Club, Yokosuka Junior Seahawks, Sun Matsuda Swim Club, Open Door Christian School, Seak¬nights, Aim Top Swim Team, Jumonji Swim Team, Swim¬friends and Yokota Stingrays.
Papa earlier predicted an eight-gold medal haul in the four-day meet.
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).