More than 500 swimmers from 61 teams all over the country will be battling for supremacy today in the 52nd Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Leg Series dubbed as The Manila Times College Swimming Championship at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa said this edition lured a field of veterans and upcoming swimmers including Palarong Pambansa standouts Maurice Sacho Ilustre, Priscila Loren Aquino and Seth Martin.
Ilustre bagged four gold medals in the recently concluded Palarong Pambansa National Capital Region qualifying meet highlighted by his record-breaking feat in the secondary boys’ 200-meter butterfly.
The 13-year-old Ilustre posted at 2:11.00 to surpass his old national junior record of 2:11.25 he registered in the Speedo National Championships held in December last year. He also ruled the 800m freestyle (9:11.00), 400m freestyle (4:18.00) and 100m butterfly (1:01.00).
Aquino, on the other hand, topped the secondary girls’ 800m freestyle (10:01.00), 400m freestyle (4:49.00), 200m freestyle (2:19.00) and 200m individual medley (2:36.00) while Martin dominated the secondary boys’ 50m freestyle (28.8) and 100m backstroke (1:09.00).
“These kids are the products of a strong grassroots development program. We have to develop our own talents because we have enough talents here in the country. We don’t need to recruit talents abroad.
We are sending our swimmers abroad to hone their skills,” said Papa.
Also seeing action are multi-titled Denjylie Cordero, Delia Cordero, Paula Cayanan, Jan Vincent Llaguno, the lone representative of Legazpi City, Joy Rodgers, Emanuel Joshua Lorbes, Marc Bryan Dula, Jasmine Mojdeh, Yuri Ilustre, Jifrey Azur, Kyla Soguilon, among others.
The collegiate level in the PSL-TMTC meet will serve as tryout for the World Universiade while the age-group category is a qualifying for the upcoming international tournaments in Australia and Hong Kong.
The PSL, the national Sports Association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports of the Philippines (Fessap), and the longest grassroots developmental program in the country, will be selecting 96 swimmers (48 male and 48 female) for the World Universiade scheduled next year in Gwangju, South Korea.
The PSL-TMTC drew participants from Aklan, Capiz, Batangas, Bulacan, Baguio, Antipolo, Davao, Tarlac, Zambales, Pasay, Quezon City, Paranaque, Navotas, Marikina, Manila, Lucena, Muntinlupa, Laguna, Caloocan, Bicol, Iloilo and Pampanga.