The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) will be parading 36 tankers in the prestigious 2017 Summer World University Games swimming competition beginning on Sunday at the National Taiwan Sport University Arena in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Leading the squad are University of the Philippines standouts Joy Rodgers and Trisha Anne Oliveros who will see action in the women’s division and fellow UP tankers Namahig Asa Mahiwo, Christen Mercado and Gian Daniel Berino, and National University’s Martin Jacob Pupos vying in the men’s class.
Also in the team are Pauline Celine Cusing and Jux Keaton Solita of University of Santo Tomas, Mhikcoloe Dominique Abina of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Carmenrose Matabuena of University of the East-Manila – all veterans of international competitions.
The other members of the women’s team are Leichelle Buenaventura, Alic Deniel Dela Cruz, Annyka Frances Dela Cruz, Princess Bernadette Estal, Jazmine Franchesca Mirasol, Isabella Olivares, Julian Ingrid Pupos, Macy Reyes, Stephanie Sablan, Julianne Khryztelle Torres, Martina Villanueva and Aubrey Ybanez.
Competing in the men’s side are Ernest Raphael Arceo, Paul Jerome Carpio, Louie Martin Cesdorio, Nathan Anthony Cheng, David De Layola, Emmanuel Rome Dela Cruz, Ryan Dimayuga, Roger Dante Giron, Jan Vincent Llaguno, Drew Benett Magbag, Jason Mirabueno, Arian Neil Puyo, Raymund Joshua Sevilla and Kobe Soguilon.
“This is a good exposure for our swimmers since a lot of Olympic medalists have competed here. Competing in an Olympic-level, world-class tournament like the Universide is a once in a lifetime experience,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Joining Papa in the delegation are PSL Chairman and former Senator Nikki Coseteng, PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa, Board Member Sonia Baltazar, and coaches Alex Papa, Joey Andaya and Ryan Robles.
The Universiade swimmers earned slots through the PSL qualifying tournaments held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The PSL swimming team has the biggest number of entries in the entire Philippine delegation.
Besides swimming, the Philippines will compete in archery, athletics, badminton, billiards, diving, judo, golf, table tennis, tae kwon do, lawn tennis weightlifting and wushu.
The 2017 Summer Universiade will have its opening ceremonies today (Saturday) at the Taipei Municipal Stadium with more than 10,000 athletes and officials from 180 countries attending the event.
In the 2013 Summer Universiade held in Kazan, Russia, the Philippines bagged its first-ever gold medal in the world meet courtesy of Grandmaster Wesley So who dominated the men’s standard chess event.
Prior to that, Samuel Morrison got a silver medal in the men’s featherweight class of the 2011 Universiade tae kwon do competition in Shenzhen, China.
EMIL C. NOGUERA