Ten Philippine Swimming League (PSL) standouts will open the country’s campaign in the 2016 Stingrays Invitational Swimming Championships beginning today at the Hong Kong International School swimming pool in Tai Tam, Hong Kong.
Promising tankers Maria Anjenette Carbonell and Sophia Anne Barcelo will plunge into action in Heat 1 of the girls’ 10-12 200-meter Individual Medley (IM) followed by Sophia Dominique Manalang in Heat 7 and Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge veteran Aalia Jaire Espejo in Heat 12.
Back-to-back Female Swimmer of the Year Kyla Soguilon of Sun Yat Sen School-Kalibo will be eyeing to avenge her loss in the 2015 edition as she competes in Heat 16.
Vying for gold medals in the boys’ 10-12 200m IM are Ruben William White and Eirik Judiel Rivera, who will both compete in Heat 6 while Palarong Pambansa medalist and Japan Swimming Championship winner Rio Lorenzo Malapitan takes part in Heat 9.
Two-time Male Swimmer of the Year and 2015 Tony Siddayao awardee Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Lyndon Baines Herrera gun for medals in Heat 13 of the boys’ 15-over 200m IM.
Besides the individual events, PSL has entries in the girls’ 10-12 200m medley relay, boys’ 10-12 200m medley relay, girls’ 15-over 200m medley relay and boys’ 15-over 200m medley relay.
“We had a few hours of training today (Thursday) to ensure that they are in good condition. After our training, we just let them rest for tomorrow’s (Friday) competition. We are optimistic of our chances. A lot of good teams are here but our swimmers are no pushovers. They’ll be fighting for gold medal,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
On Saturday, gold medals are at stake in the 200m breaststroke, 100m IM, 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m breaststroke at and 200m freestyle.
On the final day on Sunday, medals will be awarded in the 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 200m freestyle relay.
PSL aims to surpass its nine-gold medal haul in the 2015 edition.
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).
EMIL C. NOGUERA