Philippine Swimming League (PSL) president Susan Papa hailed the achievement of PSL standout Maria Claire Adorna, who delivered the country’s first gold medal in the ongoing 2015 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Singapore.
“The whole PSL community is delighted of its swimmer Maria Claire Adorna – the first athlete to give the Philippines its first gold medal in the SEAG in Singapore. It must be remembered that Claire was a PSL swimmer who should have given the long over due gold medal for the country as a swimmer,” said Papa.
“But because of heavy politics in swimming makes it difficult for Claire to achieve that. The Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission must open their eyes that development process does not necessarily come from the national association,” she stressed.
Adorna ruled the women’s triathlon on Saturday via an impressive two-hour, 13-minute, 8-second showing to beat compatriot Marion Kim Mangrobang (2:14.26) and Thai Sanruthai Arunsiri (2:22.08).
“The PSC must make the move to fully democratize swimming and other sports. I hope the sports head must realize and make this a learning lesson. There are a lot of Manny Pacquiao and Claire Adorna out there but they just didn’t get rid of politics. PSC must make a drastic move to make it a sports for all,” stressed Papa.
The 21-year-old Adorna was part of the PSL swimming team that competed in the 2011 World University Games in Shenzen, China and the 2013 edition in Kazan, Russia. She also won gold medals in swimming competitions in Singapore and Thailand.
“If you are not a member of the Philippine Swimming Inc. [headed by Mark Joseph], the POC and PSC won’t entertain you. This kind of system must be changed. Look at the other sports, they recruit them just to get away from swimming,” said Papa.
“Both the head of sports in government and the POC must open their eyes and mind and understand that there are so much talents in our grassroots,” she ended.
The PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap)—an internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).